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Govt to consider next steps: Three waters reforms

Local Government Minister, Nanaia Mahuta. File Photo/SunLive.

Today marks the final day of the two-month long engagement between the Government and local councils on the proposed reforms to New Zealand’s drinking, storm and waste water services.

Local Government Minister, Nanaia Mahuta acknowledges the feedback councils have provided over the engagement period.

“This time was agreed to enable Councils to assess the impact of the proposed reforms on their communities, and the considerable amount of information put forward” says Mahuta.

“I acknowledge the wide range of views that have come forward, and want to thank councils who provided constructive feedback for the Government to consider.

“More than 150 meetings and engagements were held with councils, iwi, industry bodies and other stakeholders in August and September to discuss the proposed reforms.

“This follows four years of work on the reforms, including the last 15 months working with local government, industry and iwi through the joint Central-Local Government Steering Committee.

“The challenges facing our water system and services have been around for more than two decades and we need to address them now.

“We are taking feedback on board, while reaffirming the status quo will not continue.

“With the passing of the Water Services Act earlier this week, monitoring and enforcement of compliance will increase – communities will not have to put up with second rate water services," says Mahuta.

Work is underway as part of the July Heads of Agreement between the Government and LGNZ to consider refinements to the proposals within the Government’s bottom lines of good governance, partnership with mana whenua, public ownership and operational and financial autonomy.

“I have been receiving reports throughout this process and expect a final report in the coming weeks, including any advice on changing aspects of the proposals.

“Cabinet will then consider the next steps for the three waters reforms, including a process for public consultation.

“This is not the end of discussions between local and central government on these reforms.

“We are committed to continuing this partnership over the course of the reforms to ensure that present and future generations of New Zealanders have water services that are safe, reliable and affordable," says Mahuta.

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Really?

Posted on 03-10-2021 11:41 | By morepork

“We are taking feedback on board, while reaffirming the status quo will not continue." So, if the feedback indicates that the status quo is preferred, it will be ignored? Why bother? Certainly, the administration of water does need review, but the Government has no right to simply steal local resources, paid for by local people, by stealth. The ONLY acceptable way for the Government plan to be implemented is if a binding referendum supports it. They know they won’t get the result they want, so they won’t have a Referendum. The whole concept of government by the people for the people is foreign to the Tikanga based system, where the paramount Chief(s) (Rangatira) decide policy and nobody can dispute it. We are being dragged back into the dark ages and nobody seems able to see it.

@ morepork and Kancho

Posted on 02-10-2021 15:49 | By

Well written both of you. You’re right morepork, it is a clash of 2 cultures. One trying to move forward and one stagnating in the past. Kancho your entire comment is spot on. Well said.

@Johnney

Posted on 02-10-2021 14:31 | By morepork

You are spot on. Unfortunately, it isn’t just the water; our whole Democratic system will be replaced by Tikanga (traditional Maori custom, which allows slavery and cannibalism, BTW) as being more comfortable for some people, if they get their way. You are seeing a clash of two cultures. Instead of working to take the best of both them, it is much better to just get what you want through political bargains and deals behind closed doors, with a weak government who are desperate for your support (whether you are right or wrong). Within the next 10 years in NZ, we will see the demolition of Democracy and the idea of a referendum where everybody votes, will be a thing of the past. The unelected elite will do what they want and won’t be subject to any tiresome dissent (just label it "racist"). This government must change or go.

Our unelected Commissioners

Posted on 02-10-2021 13:38 | By Johnney

They say they will be impartial. How can they be when Mahuta pays them $1800 per day. Would you cut off the hand that feeds you. Doubt it. They should abstain from any comment or vote. It should be put to the people by way of referendum.

Stakeholders

Posted on 02-10-2021 11:58 | By Kancho

Fifteen months if meetings with iwi, council etc and supposed stakeholders. Well ratepayers who paid for everything are stakeholders but have been deliberately left out of the meetings . Why because they fear the answer. This is a flagrant push to pass legislation and avoid democratic input. They say four years of work on this so why no mention before the elections. Why has a the spin happened now and not then . Simple they wouldn’t have been elected that’s why. Just can’t trust you them. Kiwi build ? Health ? Etc

I'm far from convinced.........

Posted on 01-10-2021 21:19 | By groutby

...that although we have far from perfect water services, I would not call them wholesale ’second rate’....there is so much more to this that Minister Mahuta will not disclose until it’s forced upon us......no discussion...job done....now on to the next ’enforcement of compliance’ on something else....