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Last modified: 01 Oct 2021 5:22pm

glass being filled from a sink tap

The Council has called for a pause in the Government’s water reform proposal and will not agree to transfer any water assets to a new entity without full engagement with the Selwyn community.

The Council has sent its formal response to Minister for Local Government Nanaia Mahuta  on the Government’s proposed three waters reforms proposals.

The Council has reiterated calls for a pause in the water reform process, first proposed by the Canterbury Mayoral Forum chaired by Selwyn Mayor Sam Broughton.

“As yet we do not believe the case for change has been proven for Selwyn, and in our response we have asked the Government for more information to help us fully understand certain issues and for time to consult with our community before making any decisions,” Mayor Sam Broughton says.

The Council has committed to consult with Selwyn residents before opting in or out of the reforms.

It is essential the public has a voice and is heard both in the reform proposals and the ongoing governance of our most essential of service, Mayor Broughton says.

“Informal feedback has indicated that our communities’ primary concern is about losing a local say in the running of its assets.

The response also calls on the Government to answer important questions about the detail of how the reforms would work, before the Council and the public can make an informed decision on the proposals.

Among its questions the Council has asked for more information about how projected future costs have been calculated, how the partnership with mana whenua will work, how local community input into decision making will be retained, and how local planning priorities will be protected under the proposed changes.

The Council’s focus is to make sure communities continue to have secure, safe access to affordable water services, Mayor Broughton says.