We have been providing updates and interviews on this topic for sometime now. During this period we have been seeing a national tsunami of concern mounting as each day goes by. Locally the calls for this reform to be stopped have gathered momentum.
However Christopher Luxon, National Party spokesperson for Local Government has issued a post today at 4:30pm saying that “Minister Nanaia Mahuta has confirmed today what we’ve been saying for months that she would do. She is going to mandate and legislate the “all-in” option to unilaterally take over all local council-owned water assets and put them into four mega water entities.
She is not interested in the good faith feedback provided to her by local mayors, councils and communities or consideration of any alternative models.”
This comes on top of the news that Covid Response Minister Chris Hipkins has this week introduced a Bill that has the power to suspend Local Body elections for up to 1 year. No explanation as to the reason for this Legislation has yet been provided.
The Three waters proposal has been rejected by 63 of 67 Councils citing the need for more consultation and more detail on the benefits to local ratepayers. Councils have also been concerned with the advertising campaign paid for by the Government depicting green sludgy water, suggesting the quality of water provided by Councils was not up to standard. This is not supported by the Ministry of Health testing that indicated 96.7% of water was up to the published standards.