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Ngāi Tahu Welcomes Commitment To Three Waters Infrastructure Reform

Ngāi Tahu welcomes the government’s continued commitment to three waters infrastructure reform, Kaiwhakahaere Lisa Tumahai said today.

Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Finance Minister Grant Robertson announced today the government was accepting the recommendations of the independent Working Group to improve accountability, representation and governance in the three waters reforms.

“We are pleased that community representation and environmental protections will be strengthened. The ministers have agreed that regional sub-committees will feed into the water service entities’ regional representative oversight groups, ensuring local councils and iwi/hapū have their voices heard on the matters that most affect them.”

“The new water services entities will have Te Mana o Te Wai at the centre of their governance, ensuring the health of local waterways is not compromised.”

“This is a challenging programme for government. Since the Working Group report was presented, reports on the state of infrastructure and investment and the Ministry of Health’s drinking water standards monitoring have shown why the reform is so urgently needed, for environmental protection, financial sustainability, and human health.”

“Ministers have had to thread a needle through effective balance sheet and governance separation from councils, to make investment and maintenance financially viable and sustainable, while still ensuring strong accountability to and representation for the whole community through a regional representative oversight group of council and mana whenua representatives.”

“The Working Group is to be commended for its insightful recommendations to improve governance and accountability. The government is to be commended for accepting the advice, while not taking its eye off the ultimate goal of equitable, safe, affordable water services. It’s now time to get this done.”

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