Government mandate provides certainty for councils
New Zealand councils now have certainty around the future delivery of water services following the Government’s announcement today that the Three Waters Reform will be mandatory, says Gore District Mayor Tracy Hicks.
“What we got today was entirely predictable. While it’s not what we (the Council) petitioned for, at least we have certainty at a time when the Council is planning some of the most significant investment in infrastructure that we’ve had to embark on.”
The Gore District will be part of an entity covering the majority of the South Island.
Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta said the case for change was strong, and the Government needs to move on the problems.
She thanked local government for its constructive feedback. A joint working party will be set up to look at the common themes from the feedback, she said.
Mr Hicks welcomes the establishment of the working party.
“We now need to ensure it addresses the big issues of accountability, quality of service and where the local voice sits on the regional entities.”
Mr Hicks said Gore District residents had come to expect a high-quality service – “I wouldn’t want to see that standard diluted under the new model”.
The need for reform has been evident for quite some time, Mr Hicks said.
It was unfortunate the disparity of views from local government, misinformation, and party politics undermined the ability to bring those reforms about through a truly democratic process.