South Canterbury Mayors Support Consensus Plan for Three Waters

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Published: 31 Oct 2022

South Canterbury’s Mayors have thrown their support behind the consensus plan for to improve water management in New Zealand.

The Mayors of Mackenzie, Timaru and Waimate have backed the plan, announced today by Wayne Brown, Mayor of Auckland and Phil Mauger, Mayor of Christchurch, which allows for better reform while retaining local ownership and local responsiveness.

Regional Water Organisations (RWOs), which would be unable to be sold outside local authority ownership, would have access to investment capital through a new Water Infrastructure Fund (WIF), administered by central government’s own Crown Infrastructure Partners (CIPs), best known for its successful roll-out of ultra-fast broadband.

Timaru District Mayor Nigel Bowen said that it was time for the Government to work towards a consensus on Three Waters.

“Through Communities 4 Local Democracy He hapori mō te Manapori we’ve put significant work into a model which is aligned with the objectives the Government set out at the start of this process and could gain wide cross sector and cross party support,” he said.

“Local Government has sent a clear and unequivocal message to Government that it doesn’t support the three waters model on the table, it’s now time for them to come back to the table and seek a consensus approach for water that works.”

Waimate District Mayor Craig Rowley underlined that it was time to take a united approach to delivering water reform, bringing everyone along on the journey.

"We fully support this new approach and this may be a way forward to stop the divisiveness that we are seeing on this issue around the country,” he said.

“We hope this approach can be considered moving forward."

Mackenzie District Mayor Anne Munro called for common sense to prevail in the Three Waters discussion.

“I too am supportive of this move – let common sense prevail. This alternative plan offers the potential to get all Councils back on board with the reform,” she said.

“Regional Water Organisations would be preferable to the single entity D as they would give small Councils like ours a greater voice in the investment decisions.”

Last updated: 31 Oct 2022