Scoop has an Ethical Paywall
License needed for work use Register

Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


Mayor Neil Brown Responds To Government’s Three Waters Reform Decision

ASHBURTON, 3 November 2021 - Ashburton District Mayor Neil Brown, with the support of local elected Councillors, has added his name to a letter being presented to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern asking for a face-to-face meeting to discuss the Government’s decision to mandate the Three Waters reform.

Councillors also agreed this afternoon to explore joining others examining a legal challenge to the mandate and voiced their anger at not even receiving a response from the Department of Internal Affairs over 17 critical questions about the proposed changes.

The reform will transfer delivery of three waters services from local authorities to four public entities across New Zealand. Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced last week it was compulsory for all 67 territorial authorities and said some councils had not done a good job on their drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater infrastructure over the years.

Mayor Brown said he was disgusted at how Government had treated the Mid Canterbury community by pushing the reform through in an undemocratic way.

Council and the community would now only have the opportunity to give feedback to a national select committee when it consults over legislation to create the new model.

"We told our community we would have proper consultation over the final proposal and whether to opt in or out. We can’t do that now.

"How many people will engage in that select committee process and will they actually listen, I don’t know; hopefully they will engage in this process."

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading

Are you getting our free newsletter?

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.

Mayor Brown said mayors of New Zealand had met via Zoom and discussed next steps and a letter had been drafted by Waimakariri Mayor Dan Gordon stating disappointment in the process so far and requesting a meeting with the Prime Minister to discuss the mandatory side of Three Waters.

He said Councillors and Council staff had devoted countless hours to providing local Three Waters information to Government, as asked, and then pouring through the reform document. Council had compiled a list of questions and had not received an answer to any of them.

"That appears to have been a waste of time."

Watch the full discussion regarding the Three Waters Reform decision from Wednesday's meeting on the Council's YouTube Channel.

© Scoop Media

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Government's Assault On Maori

This isn’t news, but the National-led coalition is mounting a sustained assault on Treaty rights and obligations. Even so, Christopher Luxon has described yesterday’s nationwide protests by Maori as “pretty unfair.” Poor thing. In the NZ Herald, Audrey Young has compiled a useful list of the many, many ways that Luxon plans to roll back the progress made here over the past 40 years in race relations... More

Public Housing Futures: Christmas Comes Early For Landlords

New CTU analysis of the National & ACT coalition agreement has shown the cost of returning interest deductibility to landlords is an extra $900M on top of National’s original proposal. This is because it is going to be implemented earlier and faster, including retrospective rebates from April 2023. More

Green Party: Petition To Save Oil & Gas Ban

“The new Government’s plan to expand oil and gas exploration is as dangerous as it is unscientific. Whatever you think about the new government, there is simply no mandate to trash the climate. We need to come together to stop them,” says James Shaw. More

PSA: MFAT Must Reverse Decision To Remove Te Reo

MFAT's decision to remove te reo from correspondence before new Ministers are sworn in risks undermining the important progress the public sector has made in honouring te Tiriti. "We are very disappointed in what is a backward decision - it simply seems to be a Ministry bowing to the racist rhetoric we heard on the election campaign trail," says Marcia Puru. More




InfoPages News Channels


Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.