Council is seeking community feedback on Government’s proposal to change the way drinking water, stormwater and wastewater are managed across the country.
Government is proposing to move the management of the three waters away from individual Councils to one of four publicly-owned regional entities. Tairāwhiti has been included with Hawkes Bay, Wellington and the top of the South Island in a group of 21 Councils called Entity C.
Mayor Rehette Stoltz is concerned about the loss of voice for community and iwi partners through the reforms.
“What we’ve learned through similar experiences is that smaller regions like Tairāwhiti lose their voice when grouped with larger regions like Wellington,” she says.
“We’ve been working to understand the modelling and information provided by the Government and it has been moving at pace. We’ve also commissioned an independent report to help understand the impact of the changes.
“There is a lot of information available about Government’s proposal and we’d like to know how comfortable our community is with what they’re seeing. This feedback will help us shape our response to Government.
“It’s also important to remember we still don’t know if the reforms will be optional or not.”
Councils have been given until Friday 1 October to consider the proposal, request further information and provide feedback. After receiving this feedback, Government will decide the next steps.
“While we expect there may be a stage for formal community consultation and we’ll make sure our community has their say, Government may just decide to legislate for it,” says Mayor Stoltz.
To fill in the survey and to find out more about the reforms, see Council’s website. The survey must be completed by Monday 27 September.