Consumers to vote on scheme ownership

Otama Rural Water Scheme consumers will vote later this year on whether ownership and management of the scheme should be transferred to a company.

Voting will be open from Thursday 18 November to Friday 10 December. The referendum follows a Local Member’s Bill, passed by Parliament two years ago, allowing ownership to be transferred from the Gore District Council to a company, with directors appointed by the scheme’s consumers.

Otama Rural Water Ltd is the company seeking to take over ownership and management. The New Zealand Companies Office lists the sole shareholder as Thomas Logan Affleck, of Gore, who is one of nine directors.

The company has prepared documentation about the transfer and future management plans for consumers. The Medical Officer of Health Dr Susan Jack has also provided a detailed report.

The referendum will be conducted under the First Past the Post system. It will be binding.

Consumers and residents living within the scheme boundary are eligible to vote. Anyone paying rates on a property within the boundary, but not living in the area, can also vote.

The preliminary electoral roll to be used for the referendum can be viewed at the Council's main office or Gore Library from Thursday 16 September.

Residential electors may enrol or amend their details on the electoral roll by going to Full details about the referendum and all supporting documents are available on Let's Talk.

About the scheme

The scheme was built in the 1970s by farmers. It is jointly managed by the Gore District Council and Otama Rural Water Scheme Committee. It was initially intended to provide stock water.

The scheme’s water comes from a bore at Pyramid Bridge, next to the Mataura River. It supplies water to just over 250 connections on 221 farms. The scheme also services numerous homes, as well as two schools and a marae.

The water was untreated until 2018 when chlorination was introduced.

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The referendum has been held. 

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