Government Must Park Three Waters Plans
Labour must listen to the multitude of mayors pleading for the Three Waters plans to be dumped, National’s Local Government spokesperson Christopher Luxon says.
“With an overwhelming majority of councils not onboard, the Government’s programme is in dire straits and its four entity model is floundering fast.
“Only a handful of mayors have explicitly supported the reforms, while the remaining 60-odd are not on board. Many are in fact urging the Government to suspend the process because they have not had adequate time to digest the detail or consult their communities.
“The South Island entity D is in serious doubt, with mayors from across the West Coast, Canterbury, Otago and Southland writing to the Minister and asking for a pause.
“The northern entity A has all but fallen apart, with Far North and Whangārei already gone and the remaining two councils, Auckland and Kaipara, in strong opposition and likely to leave next.
“Meanwhile, Hawke’s Bay mayors are against the reforms and other councils throughout entities B and C in areas like the Waikato, Bay of Plenty and Manawatū are hitting the brakes.
“It’s no surprise mayors are rebuking the Government’s woeful consultation timeframe and apparent need for speed.
“National has consistently said that the supposed benefits and cost savings haven’t been adequately explained to the public.
“We oppose the Three Waters Reforms. The touted scale benefits are unrealistic, ratepayers would end up cross-subsidising neighbouring areas, and the entities would strip power from communities and steal control of their water assets.
“The Government must heed the mayors’ calls and at a bare minimum, pause the programme immediately.
“I would encourage them to go one step further and dump the Three Waters plan altogether. We must keep the ‘local’ in local government.”