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LGNZ Will Ensure Local Voice Is Not Lost In Three Waters Bill

LGNZ President Stuart Crosby wants to make sure that local voice is loud enough in the new Three Waters system.

The Water Services Entities Bill has passed its first reading in the House today and has been referred to the Finance and Expenditure Select Committee.

“This is seriously complex reform and communities need good information about how it will work. It’s up to the Government to make sure it’s clear,” says Stuart Crosby.

“Individual councils each have a unique point of view that represents their knowledge of their place, and we encourage them to submit on that.

“Our submission will focus on how local voice can be expressed in the new system and whether this is strong enough. This includes whether local authorities on behalf of their communities have enough connection and influence with the proposed water services entities to meet the communities’ needs.

“Operating water services gives councils a window into community concerns and needs. Councils are concerned about how they’ll connect with their communities going forward.

“They can’t see a line of sight between community concerns and the large entities. Water is intrinsically linked to wellbeing and placemaking.

“Councils are struggling to see how those links will stay strong under the new model.

“Wherever the model ends up, our focus is on making sure it keeps councils connected with their communities,” says Stuart Crosby.

LGNZ’s submission process: 

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“We know there are different views on the preferred model and number of entities,” says LGNZ CE Susan Freeman-Greene.

“We will focus on the Bill itself and its implications, in the best interest of the sector as a whole, while balancing the fact that the sector is divided on the issue.

“Our submission will be subject to a robust, analytical process over the next two months, including legal advice.

“It will focus on dissecting the bill, how workable it is and how it can be improved from a sector point of view.

“We’ll be seeking sector input on key questions and reflecting the range of views,” says Susan Freeman-Greene.

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