Councils Mobilise on Forced Three Waters Reform

Yesterday Waimakariri Mayor Dan Gordon sent a letter to the Prime Minister on behalf of 30 Mayors and Councils across New Zealand to seek a meeting to address the now forced Three Waters Reform.

Mayor Dan says, “Across the Local Government sector there was near consensus that the model now being mandated wasn’t acceptable to Councils or our communities.”

Concurrently a smaller group of Councils, made up of Timaru, Whangarei and Waimakariri, have filed legal proceedings seeking to affirm Local Government’s rights and obligations as infrastructure asset owners.

It also seeks a declaration whether it would be unlawful for the Government’s public education campaign to contain incorrect or misleading information in regards to local council’s rights, obligations and duties.

Waimakariri District councillors unanimously supported the decision to launch proceedings at an extraordinary meeting last week.

“We have significant concerns that the Government is proceeding on the basis of fundamental misunderstandings of the democratic importance of its definitions of Local Government and asset ownership, and feel that this process will offer us a clear and shared understanding of our rights and obligations for future negotiations.”

“These steps are our way of ensuring we’re continuing to advocate in our residents best interests,” says Mayor Gordon.

“What we do agree on is that quality drinking water and better environmental outcomes are essential and support the new regulator and coming regulations.

“What we don’t support is the flawed and now forced four entity model when there are number of alternative and viable delivery models that would be supported by ratepayers across New Zealand.

“We believe each asset owner has the right to determine how best to meet those requirements.

“We are seeking to meet with the Prime Minister to express this view and seek more viable approaches to Three Waters Reform. I will make sure to keep the community updated with our progress.”