More than 800 responses have been submitted to the Hastings District Council’s community survey on the government’s initial three waters management reform proposal, and council is keeping the survey open so people can continue to give their feedback.
The government gave councils until September 30 to consider the proposal and provide feedback, and as part of that Hastings District Council ran an online survey from September 3 to 19, and a Facebook Live information session, to harness the community’s views and help inform its submission to government, due on October 1.
On September 30, council will meet to consider and finalise this submission on the initial proposal to transfer the ownership and management of storm water, drinking water and waste water assets away from councils to four newly created entities across New Zealand.
Hastings mayor Sandra Hazlehurst thanked those who took the time to complete the survey, and said that this information would be used to help guide council’s submission.
“Although we had to close the survey for the purposes of reporting to council and meeting the submission deadline to government, we have decided to continue to accept responses for the next few months as we think it is important to continue gathering community feedback while the proposal is still being discussed and finalised.
“Water has been our number one priority for several years now and we know the status quo is not an option for managing our three water assets.
“As a region our councils have been working together to find ways to deliver these services on our own, at the same time improving affordability, resilience, capacity and capability.
“We are still committed to pursuing this as we still think there’s a case for a regional model.”
The results of the survey showed the overwhelming majority of respondents (nearly 90 per cent) were uncomfortable with the government’s initial proposal and wanted more information, particularly around the costs to individual ratepayers, the governance arrangements of any new entity, and how local voices would be heard.
Affordability and security/safety of three waters were the primary issues of importance to respondents, followed by local ownership and delivery.
Just under 90 per cent of respondents said they considered it very important that the community be formally consulted on the government’s proposal.
The results of the survey will be included in the public Council Agenda, which will be released prior to the meeting via www.hastingsdc.govt.nz/our-council/meetings/.
People can take the survey at www.hastingsdc.govt.nz/services/water/three-waters-reform/
20 September 2021
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