Auckland water crisis: Watercare CEO 'needs to help Aucklanders', won't resign over Waikato River debacle

Watercare's chief executive says he hasn't considered quitting despite growing frustration over Auckland's water crisis.

"No," Raveen Jaduram told The AM Show's Duncan Garner when asked if he'd considered resigning. "I need to help Aucklanders, I'm not going to resign.

"Frustration is motivation," he added.

Aucklanders could face water restrictions for another year as the region continues to grapple with a severe drought and the council wants to draw an extra 200 million litres of water a day from the Waikato River.

But that proposal has been met with staunch opposition from local iwi and the Waikato Regional Council.

Jaduram said water was vital for the Auckland economy and Auckland's economy was essential for New Zealand.

"Water should go to the most productive use and we believe that Aucklanders are very efficient water users," he explained. "Water is vital for the economy - it is not helpful if we sway away from the facts and the facts are, Aucklanders are very efficient water users."

The weekend's rain improved the drought situation slightly for Auckland - with dam levels increasing to 54 percent but Jaduram between two and three weeks of such rain was still needed.

Raveen Jaduram.
Raveen Jaduram. Photo credit: The AM Show

Watercare says building another dam is out of the question due to its cost. Jaduaram said it also had to be built in a valley where there's lots of water flow.

Waikato-Tainui chairperson Rukumoana Schaafhausen told Newshub last week they're willing to help Auckland but taking more water wasn't on the agenda.

"Several hundred million litres of the water every day from the river - that's a significant impact," she said.

Auckland Mayor Phill Goff told reporters if the Government granted the council fast-tracked consent to take the water, which he has asked for, he would do so with or without iwi consent.

"We've waited for seven years and we're still 106th in line," he said last week.