Community Opinions Required for Three Waters Reform Proposals

The Tauranga City Council Commissioner is seeking community feedback to include in government feedback on the three waters reform proposals.

Ann Tory

NSOmission Chair Anne Tolley states that the reform proposal is complex and many of the details still need to be completed, but it is effective in providing high quality and affordable drinking, wastewater and stormwater services. Model may be provided.

“Survey shows that over the next 30 years, huge investments will be required to ensure that all New Zealand communities continue to have the safe, effective and sustainable water, wastewater and stormwater services they need. It will be, “she says.

“In fact, as new health and environmental standards evolve and communities grow, standards continue to rise. Reform proposals are needed for three proactive and forward-looking water services. The aim is to create a structure that can provide the best investment and quality of service. “

An important aspect of government reform proposals

  • There are four new regional water utilities throughout New Zealand. Tauranga is located in “Entity B” and includes the Bay of Plenty, Waikato and Taranaki regions.
  • These entities take over control of water assets, debt and income flows from Congress. The council jointly owns a water entity on behalf of the community.
  • The Council and iwi / Maori contribute to the objectives and priorities of these entities through a proposed 50:50 governance model that respects the Treaty of Waitangi.
  • The entity will be sought by Taumatawhakatang, a drinking water regulator, to ensure that public health remains a top priority.
  • New entities need to consult with the community.
  • A funding package was provided to ensure that Congress did not “deteriorate” financially as a result of the reforms.
  • Additional future funding packages have been provided to each council to ensure that reforms leave all communities “better”. Based on the population / deprivation / land area formula, Tauranga will receive $ 48.5 million and most of the funds will be available in 2024.

A key component of the reform is the partnership with Tangata Wenua, which follows the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi. This reform also aims to bring about the fruits of Te Mana o te Wai, a set of principles co-designed with iwi / Maori to improve the water quality of streams, rivers and lakes.

Ann said that if the provision of three water services remains unchanged (managed by 67 separate councils), future quality of service across the country will continue to fluctuate and the level of investment required will be many. It means that the service will be affordable for people.

“The proposed change is an important change, but it provides an opportunity to co-design a delivery model that will be useful to all New Zealanders. We want to see what that model should look like, and the community. We are keen to assess the community’s view of what safeguards are needed to protect our interests, “she adds.

The issues identified by the Commission for raising with the central government are:

  • Ensure that our community has the opportunity to provide local feedback on the reform process
  • Protecting water assets from privatization
  • Clarify how to manage water assets and staff during the transition period
  • Ensure that Tauranga’s growth needs are met in a timely manner and properly considered within Entity B’s priorities.
  • The impact of reforms on stormwater, as the focus is primarily on drinking water and wastewater.

Until the end of September, the Board needs to consider the potential impact of reforms, identify concerns and advocate for the best possible outcomes for the community. As part of that process, business leaders can provide feedback on what they want commissioners to raise with the government in the following ways:

read: Commissioner starts business immediately

Community Opinions Required for Three Waters Reform Proposals

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