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Wednesday, 27 October 2021

QLDC disappointed in mandatory Three Waters Reform announcement

QLDC response to today’s announcement that Government will dictate reform of Three Waters is one of great disappointment, but not surprise.

The Queenstown Lakes District Council (QLDC) response to today’s announcement that Government will dictate reform of Three Waters is one of great disappointment, but not surprise.

Queenstown Lakes Mayor Jim Boult said of the Minister for Local Government Nanaia Mahuta’s announcement that it felt like a “knee jerk reaction”.

“Councils throughout Aotearoa New Zealand have invested significant time, effort and resources engaging with integrity and good intent, including staff and elected members at QLDC. That’s despite a questionable TV and press advertising campaign, deep uncertainty and a lack of information, and the inevitable and understandable public reaction to the proposed new model that almost completely removes local government from having any role or voice in the management of wastewater, water supply and stormwater.”

“The recent eight-week period of consideration was spent looking at what the proposed reforms could mean for our local community, our local environment, Council services and the Three Waters assets and infrastructure we have invested in, as well as formalising a Council position.”

“This Council had undertaken that work with the expectation that it would be part of a longer discussion yet to be had, which would include an opportunity to consult with and reflect the views of our communities. That opportunity has been taken away and a completely different pathway is now before us all,” said Mayor Boult.

Mayor Boult added that elected members and staff would now need to consider this extreme move by Central Government and the detail of what is being presented. Particularly in the light of Council’s 28 September approved position statement that it will “actively oppose” any mandatory reform.

“Government is indicating that it has taken on board feedback from councils, which seems to be taking the shape of a Working Group. We will need to know more about that group’s remit, what voice councils can have and what QLDC’s next options are. Obviously we will need to work with Government to reach a way forward and I will be discussing this with my fellow elected members to agree how we influence this ongoing process to deliver the best outcomes for our local communities,” said Mayor Boult.

ENDS|KUA MUTU.

Media contact: communications@qldc.govt.nz or call 03 441 1802.

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