Council boss wants to know what residents think of water reforms

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch
Aug 26, 2021 |

The boss of the Christchurch City Council wants to know what residents think about the Government’s proposed water reforms.

The Government is proposing to transfer the delivery of three waters services from local councils to four public entities across New Zealand.

They would be managed by a new entity called Taumata Arowai.

Chief Executive Dawn Baxendale said ““we want residents to be part of our decision-making process, so to get the conversation started we have put together a short online survey to help us gauge what is important to people when it comes to the delivery and management of drinking water, wastewater and stormwater services – the ‘three waters.”

Christchurch City Council Chief Executive Dawn Baxendale

Two former Labour Christchurch Mayors condemn the Government’s reforms

Vicki Buck said “it’s a total rip-off for the people of Christchurch. The incentives the Government is offering to join these new authorities are a nonsense.”

She said “the information on this deal is sketchy at best but based on what is available this deal looks like a very bad one for Christchurch residents.”

Former Christchurch Mayor Garry Moore said “what is happening is that the ratepayers of Christchurch are being forced to hand over our water assets to prop up small authorities. We are “gifting” a net $5.8b worth of assets to prop up poorly performing authorities.

“This is fundamentally an injustice to the ratepayers of this City, and others who do not wish to join the supposed “reforms”. This is theft on a grand scale.”


Timaru District Mayor Nigel Bowen

“It’s disappointing that the current government’s agenda clearly supports centralisation of water, health and education, and our communities need to stand up and say we don’t support this.”

Selwyn Mayor Sam Broughton

“We are yet to be convinced that there is a strong case for change and that the reforms proposed are the best option for people in Selwyn.”

Waimate District Mayor Craig Rowley

“There’s a real lack of information that has been forthcoming from the DIA and Central Government, and at this point there are just too many unknowns,”

Hurunui Mayor Marie Black

In early July Hurunui Mayor Black said the current (Government) advertising campaign is misleading and an insult to the current status within the Hurunui District along with many other districts in New Zealand. It is my understanding that the decision to “opt out” is still on the table however confidence in the integrity of the government position is not 100% guaranteed.

Bruce Smith Westland District Mayor

“There is a growing opinion that the three waters proposals from Government, is an attack on democracy.”

Fill out the survey.

This week the Canterbury Mayoral Forum wrote to the Local Government Minister to ask her to pause the three waters reform process.

The forum is concerned that without a pause, 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.

Learn more about the proposed three waters reforms.

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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