Media Release - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Mayor Smith disappointed but not surprised about working group feedback
Feedback from the Government’s three waters working group was ”predictably disappointing” according to the group representing 1.5 million New Zealanders and almost half of New Zealand’s territorial local authorities.
Communities 4 Local Democracy He hapori mō te Manapori is the local government action group campaigning for better reform for three waters.
“I unreservedly support the comments made in today’s media release by my colleagues in the Communities 4 Local Democracy He hapori mō te Manapori” says Westland District Mayor, Bruce Smith. “I have said from the beginning that the Government’s proposals were unworkable and unpalatable to our Westland Community and the weak feedback from the working group set up by the Government does not change my opinion.
We have acknowledged that there are changes needed to ensure that all communities have access to good quality three waters infrastructure, but creating mega-entities and taking the democratic accountability out of the hands of local government is not the way to do things. I cannot see anything from the working group’s report that shows they have taken on board the feedback that the Communities 4 Local Democracy He hapori mō te Manapori action group provided and while I am incredibly disappointed, I am not surprised.
I will continue to work with Communities 4 Local Democracy He hapori mō te Manapori advocating for the Westland Community against the reforms.”
Communities 4 Local Democracy has presented two alternative three waters models - council owned with stronger regulation, and a new council owned enterprise (COE) model.
The action group believes both of these models meet all of the Government’s bottom line objectives – ranging from meaningful partnerships with mana whenua to appropriate balance sheet separation.
For more information about Communities 4 Local Democracy He hapori mō te Manapori and its models for better water services, visit www.communities4localdemocracy.co.nz
Media enquiries to:
Emma Rae, Strategy and Communications Advisor