Canterbury mayors tells Government to pause water reforms immediately

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch
Aug 23, 2021 |

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

The Government wants to transfer the delivery of three waters services from local authorities to four public entities across New Zealand.

Chair of the Canterbury Mayoral Forum, Mayor Sam Broughton said “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.”

Pictured: Canterbury Mayoral Forum, 3 Feb 2020 – L to R: Craig Mackle (Kaikōura District), Jenny Hughey (Environment Canterbury – Chair), Craig Rowley (Waimate District), Dan Gordon (Waimakariri District), Nigel Bowen (Timaru District – Deputy Chair), Neil Brown (Ashburton District), Gary Kircher (Waitaki District), Sam Broughton (Selwyn District – Chair), Lianne Dalziel (Christchurch City), Graham Smith (Mackenzie District), Marie Black (Hurunui District).

“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.”

Sam Broughton said “we believe this is essential in order to properly and authentically engage with our communities on this incredibly important decision.”

”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.”

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch

Chris Lynch is a journalist, videographer and content producer, broadcasting from his independent news and production company in Christchurch, New Zealand. If you have a news tip or are interested in video content, email [email protected]

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