Three of the Wellington region's mayors have taken the plunge for water savings but are urging the public not to return to their wasteful ways.
Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown, Upper Hutt Mayor Wayne Guppy, and Porirua Mayor Nick Leggett pledged to jump into Wellington Harbour if the region's water usage dropped to an average of 125 million litres (ML) per day over a week.
This morning, they followed through on that pledge.
Mr Leggett, who was the first out of the water, said the dip was about the mayors getting outside their "comfort zone", in acknowledgement of the massive water savings made by people in the face of the big dry.
"It about drawing attention to the fact that we've been through a mini-crisis."
Mr Guppy joked that while the plunge had a message many people would have taken some simple joy just out of seeing their leaders uncomfortable.
"A few people were probably hoping we wouldn't resurface."
He said the region had have broken bad water wasting habits but needed to keep up the good work. Even with water restriction likely to be lifted as the rain sets in this week, keeping water use down would ultimately save ratepayers money, delaying the need for extra capacity.
"For the first time, people are a bit conscious about water use."
Before jumping in, Ms Wade-Brown told TVNZ's Breakfast show the region's water usage had dropped to 104ML per day.
''Let's wait for the rain before we start watering outside. A dirty car is a real badge of civic pride,'' she said.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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