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Still time to give feedback on Government’s three waters reform

Water

Council’s community survey on the Government’s initial proposal to move the management of waste water, drinking water and storm water away from councils closes this Sunday, and people are urged to give their feedback.

The Government’s proposal to reform the delivery of ‘three waters’ would see the ownership and management of  storm water, drinking water and waste water assets transferred to four entities across New Zealand.

Hastings’ services would be run by an organisation responsible for 21 council areas from the top of the East Coast to the top of the South Island. 

The Government has given councils until September 30 to consider the proposal and provide feedback, with Government to then provide updated information back to councils at the end of October.

Last night [September 16], a Facebook Live session was held on the Hastings District Council’s Facebook page so people could hear more about the proposal and ask questions.

This covered many aspects of community concern about the proposal, including such issues as the potential loss of the three waters assets this community has already paid for and owns, the ability under the proposal to have a real say in decisions being made about those assets, and how such a large entity could be accountable to the community.

The questions reflected matters raised in the more than 600 responses the survey has already received, and the Facebook Live broadcast is available to view on the council Facebook page or on the website at www.hastingsdc.govt.nz/services/water/three-waters-reform/

Hastings mayor Sandra Hazlehurst said that at this stage of the process the council was not opting in or out of the government’s proposal.

“What we are doing at this point is talking as a council with other Hawke’s Bay councils and with the community to help guide the submission we need to make to the Government by October 1.

“We want this submission to reflect our community, and feedback to the survey will be included in it.

“One of the strongest points in our submission will be that any decision the government makes after October 1 will need to be subject to formal consultation with the community.”

The survey closes at midnight Sunday, September 19.

On September 30, Council will meet to consider and finalise its submission, before sending it to Government on October 1.

This will be an open, livestreamed meeting, and the agenda and associated documents will be available to view on the council website.

People can get more information, view the Facebook Live broadcast, and complete the survey at www.hastingsdc.govt.nz/services/water/three-waters-reform/

17 September 2021

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