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Otama water supply bill passes third reading

The ownership of a major Southland water supply scheme has now been clarified after a local bill sponsored by New Zealand First MP Mark Patterson was passed unanimously by Parliament today.

The Gore District Council (Otama Rural Water Supply) Bill enables the transfer of the ownership of the Otama Water Supply Scheme, which supplies over 200 properties with stock and household water across 73,000 acres of farmland, from the Gore District Council to its users. The Bill defines the process including a referendum for that transfer to occur.

“I thank the Gore District Council for their constructive engagement in recognising the importance of local democracy,” says Mr Patterson.

“This is a special day for those who have built, used and maintained the Scheme over the past 40 years,” says Mr Patterson.

“The Scheme, first started in the 1970s, has been built on contributions from the local community and countless hours of voluntary labour, by the current users of the scheme and their fathers before them. They are its rightful owners”.

“I would like to thank the members of the Governance and Administration Committee for their work in strengthening this bill, ensuring the Scheme complies with present and future water safety and management regulations”.

“I would also like to thank the Scheme’s committee, who, under the chairmanship of Tom Affleck, have been highly competent governors of the scheme, and advanced a strong case for assuming ownership. It has been an honour shepherding this bill through the legislative process on their behalf,” says Mr Patterson.

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