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Councils’ confidence in Minister diminishing

Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta has released an underwhelming policy decision for Councils on the Three Waters review, National’s Local Government spokesperson Jacqui Dean says.

“Compulsory aggregated services is still on the table despite the uproar from Councils across the country. It’s becoming clear that this is the option the Minister is leaning towards as actual decisions won’t be made until the end of 2019.

“Ms Mahuta has raised Council expectations through the roof prior to her trip to the United Kingdom six months ago. But the Minister didn’t bring back any new information other than ‘international models demonstrate that better quality services can be delivered’.

“Councils are losing confidence in Ms Mahuta’s ability to run the Three Waters Review as she continues to leave them hanging by a thread for at least another 12 months.

“The Minister gave the impression that Councils would know more about the regulations of their drinking water standards by October this year, however she has just extended the deadline to June next year.

“The Cabinet paper is another re-write of the Minister’s three keynote speeches and shows the Minister has no new information to give to Councils.

“Ms Mahuta needs to be addressing growth and ageing infrastructure. Councils don’t have the time to wait while the decision is delayed, they have annual and 10 year plans to produce.

“How can they possibly plan for the future of their infrastructure if they don’t know what regulations the Minister is going to impose on them.”

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