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Mayor Comments On Three Waters Reform Announcement

Press Release – Marlborough District Council

My reaction is one of great disappointment at the Governments decision to make the Three Waters reform mandatory, as announced by Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta this morning. The Minister has stated the status quo is not sustainable …

“My reaction is one of great disappointment at the Government’s decision to make the Three Waters reform mandatory, as announced by Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta this morning.”

“The Minister has stated the status quo is not sustainable and the case for reform is compelling. If this is the position why has there been no meaningful public engagement in the roll out of the reform proposals?”

“We provided the Government with constructive feedback on the reform proposal during the eight week period to 30 September 2021, as did other councils around the country.”

“In just three weeks the Government has analysed the feedback from 67 councils, leading many to the conclusion that the decision to mandate it had been predetermined.”

“The mandatory ‘all in’ approach to this reform will be a bitter pill to swallow for many in our community, judging by the feedback I have received over the past two months.”

“The Department of Internal Affairs has also confirmed that the boundary for Entity C and Entity D will be the Ngāi Tahu takiwā boundary but that water assets in South Marlborough will be ‘managed’ by Entity C. What is the logic in this?”

“We have been offered a few crumbs to address the widespread concern over the loss of local democratic influence and control, but it seems most of the decision has been largely taken away from our communities. In my view, this is a step too far.”

“However, the fight to exert a greater level of local control is not over – there will be two public submission and select committee processes over the next two years as the Water Services Entities Bill and Water Services Entities (Implementation) Bills progress through Parliament. There is a long way to go on this yet.”

More information: www.marlborough.govt.nz/your-council/three-waters-reform-proposals

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