Ruapehu Welcomes End To Uncertainty Around 3 Waters Reform
Mayor Don Cameron said that Ruapehu welcomed the certainty that Government's announcement that participation in reform of the 3 waters sector would be mandatory for all councils provides.
“Now that Government has taken the need for consultation on the reforms off the table we can focus our attention on the transition and planning for what our future roles and responsibilities will look like without 3 waters,” he said.
“We also welcome the establishment of the working groups to address the outstanding issues raised by councils with the proposed model specifically around the concerns about ownership, local voice and control of water assets.
It is pleasing to see that the proposed working groups will also undertake work on legislation and policies to ensure entity support for council's growth aspirations and the unique requirements of rural community water schemes which were other areas of concern to Ruapehu.”
Mayor Cameron noted that rural councils with small rating bases always had a lot to gain financially from the proposed reforms.
“In Ruapehu's case it was estimated that we needed to spend upwards of $600m on 3 waters infrastructure over the next 30-40 years.
Over the next ten-years we were facing our debt climbing by over $65m to address drinking water compliance standards alone.
Being freed from the debt implications this level of spending will entail, while making good use of our $16.4m share of the $2.5b 'better off-not worse off' package, should provide Council with the financial capability to start addressing some our communities growing well-being needs in areas such as housing.
In the interim we will continue to work constructively alongside Government and the sector to ensure the best possible outcomes for our communities from the reform process.”