Mayors Welcome Whāngarei Move To Join Appeal
The mayors of Timaru and Waimakariri districts have welcomed today’s announcement by Whāngarei District Council of its intention to join the appeal against the Government's Three Waters plan.
Timaru, Waimakariri and Whāngarei District Councils had asked the High Court for declarations on the rights and interests that property ownership entails.
While the declarations where refused, the High Court judgement confirmed the Government’s Three Waters plan is expropriating councils’ Three Water assets and that the decision to pay compensation rests with Parliament.
Timaru District Mayor Nigel Bowen said that it was important that the judgement received further scrutiny particularly as the government was moving at speed to pass the legislation before the election.
“The government is working to get this through Parliament as quickly as possible with the minimum public scrutiny rather than seeking any kind of real mandate from the electorate,” said Bowen.
“It’s more important now than ever that these fundamental questions of ownership are given the scrutiny that they require.
“A government redefining the very concept of ownership through a rushed legislative process sets a worrying precedent for other community assets.
“Our councils, supported by others throughout the country, feel it’s important that the many legal questions around these reforms are properly addressed before billions dollars of assets are confiscated from communities.”
Waimakariri Mayor Dan Gordon said he welcomed Whāngarei in joining the appeal.
“The potential ramifications of this rushed legislation are huge and we’re thankful to see other councils, like Whāngarei, who are willing to push back,” said Gordon.
All three councils are members of Communities 4 Local Democracy He hapori mō te Manapori, a group of council’s wanting better, locally focused reforms.
Their alternative for reform can be found at https://www.communities4localdemocracy.co.nz/ideas