Council raises numerous concerns in letter to Minister
Last week, the Gore District Council sent a letter to the Minister for Local Government, the Hon Nanaia Mahuta, outlining our position on the 3 Waters Reform.
The decision to provide feedback does not commit the Council to a particular stance on the reform or continued involvement in the programme.
Here’s a summary of some key issues we raise in the letter:
• We call on the Government to give serious consideration to a genuine funding partnership with local government for 3 Waters, similar to the successful roading model with Waka Kotahi NZTA. The fiscal challenges of ageing infrastructure and rising environment standards would be far less imposing if the Government recognized the importance of 3 Waters infrastructure to the overall wellbeing of communities and enter into a partnership with councils instead of the proposed four entities.
• We agree with government analysis that the status quo is not a viable option, given the changing regulatory and financial landscape.
• We challenge the accuracy of the Government’s financial data e.g. the Council’s 3 Waters rate put out by the Government doesn’t match what we know to be fact. The inaccuracy of assumptions and source material in the 3 Waters forecasts undermines the integrity of the entire process.
• There needs to be legislation to prevent any future privatization of 3 Waters assets.
• Mechanisms need to be put in place to ensure a local voice is retained. The Government needs to say how it sees councils working with the new entities to ensure they have a meaningful influence on investment priorities and service standards in their districts.
• We need a minimum guarantee on future capital investment in the Gore District.
You can read the letter in its entirety at www.lets.talk.goredc.govt.nz. You'll also find useful links to a lot of information about the reform