Dalziel: Explaining things face-to-face

I was walking through town the other day and a couple of workmen saw me approaching.

“Here comes the mayor,” one said.

“You’d better be working hard,” I replied with a smile.

“We’re helping fix your city,” they said, so I stopped and thanked them.

“So what are you doing about the chlorine in our water then,” was their question.

I explained we would have been ordered to chlorinate the water if we hadn’t agreed to do so, and at that point, we would have lost control of all the decision-making from then on. But what are we doing and what about the water bottling plant at Belfast – what does that have to do with it?

It’s interesting how little fact filters through social media channels these days. I explained that the city council is putting chlorine in at the pump stations, so for the pumps where all the well-heads are above ground, or able to be isolated, no chlorine is going into the water supply at all. We are also planning to put UV treatment into the mix which will help.

We then talked about the water bottling plant at Belfast. I explained it is Environment Canterbury that controls resource consents for water take, and in this particular case, an existing resource consent had been included when the property was bought.

It was great to get direct feedback and to bust some myths at the same time. I thanked them for stopping me. You don’t often get to explain what’s really going on when the news media only allow for a 10sec sound-bite.

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