Council raising questions on government’s water reform proposal
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Last modified: 21 Sep 2021 2:16pm
The Council is seeking more information from the government on its three waters reform proposals, before deciding on its response.
The Council has also committed to consulting with the community before the end of the year on the government’s proposal to reform drinking water, wastewater and stormwater services.
Mayor Sam Broughton says the Council is finalising its initial feedback to the government and will be asking further questions of the Department of Internal Affairs before the end of this month.
“We’re asking the government for clearer information and for time as we are committed to consult with our community once the reform proposals are clarified,” Mayor Broughton says.
The Council’s focus is to make sure communities continue to have secure, safe access to water services – and that future services are to the same quality standards that we currently have, or better, he says.
“We’re aiming to consult once we are satisfied that we have all the information we need – right now there are too many unknowns for the Council or residents to make an informed decision,” Mayor Broughton says.
The Council will be asking for more information about how projected future costs have been calculated, how local community input into decision making will be retained, and how local planning priorities will be protected under the proposed changes.
With other Canterbury Councils Selwyn is calling for a pause in the government’s reform process through the Canterbury Mayoral Forum.
At this stage the Council is aiming to consult with residents once the final government reform proposals have been released – provided the government keeps the option for Councils to opt-in or opt-out of the reforms.
“We will be making it clear in our feedback to the Government that we fully expect to consult with our community before we make any decision,” Mayor Broughton says.
“We all want to know what happens next – and that’s in the Government’s hands, who could choose to make the whole reform mandatory.
In the meantime the Council has released information this week to help residents understand the government proposals so far, with resources available in print and online.