Media Release - For immediate release
Westland District Mayor Bruce Smith says he’s appalled the Government has forced the Three Waters Reform proposal on Westland and other Councils around the country without adequately taking on feedback.
The Government announced they would legislate to enable the proposal to transfer control of drinking water, wastewater and stormwater infrastructure from 67 councils nationwide to four large independent entities, regardless of the community feedback received so far.
“It’s very clear to me that there are other agendas in play and I am very disappointed with the forced decision to confiscate our three water assets. We went into this process based on the undertaking of government that we could opt out. This undertaking proved of no value.
Our analysis showed the argument for change for our community from the Government is flawed, and I am upset and extremely concerned that this proposal is being forced on us.
We received a very clear message from the respondents to our community survey, with 92 percent telling the council that they wanted us to retain local decision making, control and influence of our assets.
We asked the government to press pause to allow more time to fully consider the proposal based on the feedback from local government and our communities.
The Government announced yesterday that they have made a decision to take these essential assets away from our communities without honouring their ability to choose, and with it being unclear how they will continue to have a voice.
The council will continue to strongly advocate on behalf of our residents to ensure our community continues to have a say in water provision in our District.”
Media enquiries to:
Emma Rae, Strategy and Communications Advisor