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Labour Won’t Even Consider Listening To Alternatives To Three Waters

“If there was any doubt that Three Waters was about taking away local control and implementing co-government instead of fixing water infrastructure, Labour and Green MPs on Parliament’s Finance and Expenditure select committee confirmed it today,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“I made the case to the Finance and Expenditure committee for a six week extension to hear about the Mayors’ alternative before making up its mind on the Three Waters legislation.

“The motion being debated was whether the Committee should ask Parliament’s Business Committee for more time to listen. They didn’t even want to ask. Labour and Green MPs voted against asking to listen.

“The Greens vote is particularly disappointing. We know Labour like to rush laws, but the Greens are supposed to be in favour of local democracy and listening to the community. Judge them not by their words but by their actions.

“Labour and the Greens seem to have forgotten that the job of the House of Representatives is to represent. Nearly half the population live in Auckland, Christchurch and Waimakariri council areas. They have elected mayors that are fulfilling their remit by representing their interests with alternatives to Three Waters, and other mayors are supporting them.

“Councils and ratepayers have rejected Three Waters and Labour’s centralisation agenda. If Labour were truly committed to improving water infrastructure, they would be happy to consider sensible alternatives put forward by councils. It is in local councils’ best interests to improve the system so there is no reason for Labour not to listen to their ideas.

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“Labour don’t want to consider the alternatives because the alternatives are solely focussed on improving water infrastructure. While Labour’s Three Waters plan is focussed on divisive co-government and centralisation of assets.

“Like the council’s alternative, ACT’s Water Infrastructure Plan returns water assets to councils, allows councils to enter into voluntary “shared services” agreements while retaining local ownership and control, and dispenses with the unnecessary co-government aspect that is so central to Labour’s Three Waters proposal.

“ACT would also establish long term 30-year Central Government-Local Government Partnership agreements to attract investment, and expand the exemption from domestic supply for a single dwelling to include all small water suppliers supplying fewer than 30 endpoint users.

“Instead of just taking assets – ACT created an alternative Water Infrastructure Plan. We received detailed feedback from Mayors across New Zealand, which is being reflected as councils start to put forward similar proposals.

“Councils and ratepayers are ready for Real Change. It’s time the Government listened to them.”

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