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Canterbury mayors request pause on three waters reforms

23 Aug 2021 | Mayoral Forum

The Canterbury Mayoral Forum has today written to the Minister of Local Government to formally request a pause to the current three waters reform process.

The reform process proposes to transfer delivery of three waters services from local authorities to four public entities across New Zealand. 

The Forum has taken this step as we have serious concerns about the current decision-making timeframe. The three waters reform proposals are a once-in-a-generation decision for councils and communities, and it is crucial that communities are provided with enough time to engage meaningfully and genuinely with the process and better understand the implications of the proposals. Without this pause, we consider there is a very real risk that Councils and their communities will not be able to make informed decisions about the impact of the proposed reform outcomes.

“The Mayoral Forum urges the pause to come into effect now and remain in place until the new water service regulator Taumata Arowai is properly established, there is clarity about the proposed Economic Regulator, and the standards and approach from each is clearly understood. We believe this is essential in order to properly and authentically engage with our communities on this incredibly important decision”, says Chair of the Canterbury Mayoral Forum, Mayor Sam Broughton.

The Forum also acknowledges that the reform process is being undertaken at the same time as other significant reform processes, including a review into the future for local government. A pause in the three waters reform process would allow more time to consider the kind of three waters model that might best support the future for local government.

The Mayoral Forum looks forward to further engaging with the Minister on our request.

For further information, contact Maree McNeilly, Mayoral Forum Secretariat, on 027 381 8924.

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