Disappointed . . . The Hurunui District Council is bitterly disappointed with the Government’s announcement on the Three Water Reforms and is vowing to continue the fight against them. Photo: File

By Robyn Bristow

The Hurunui District Council is not backing down in its opposition of the Three Water Reforms.

It is putting up a fight over the reforms which it says are “flawed in its economic analysis and negatively impacts local democracy and control”.

It is a planning a district-wide public gathering at the Glenmark Rugby Club grounds at Omihi on Sunday, November 14, to give people an opportunity to have a say on the reforms, make submissions, and back the council in its endeavours to highlight its concerns about the reforms to the Government.

“It is about about having a collective voice, and mobilising the public so they can have their say.

“It’s up to everyone to make some noise,” says Hurunui Mayor Marie Black, who invited people to bring a picnic lunch and make a submission while enjoying the day.

Mrs Black says the government’s announcement last week to mandate the Three Waters Reform Proposal, through legislation which takes away the provision to opt out of the reforms, has stripped the council of its option to carry out formal consultation.

However, she says it is vitally important the council keeps its word to the people of Hurunui District, therefore it will continue with the promised plan to formally ask for feedback, just a few weeks after asking for, and receiving informal feedback.

“This is a legal process we are following, so we encourage everyone to please partake in this consultation process. This is your chance to have your say and tell the government what you think.”

The action follows an extraordinary meeting last Thursday where the council adopted a Statement of Proposal to oppose the government’s Three Waters Reform, opting for a formal round of consultation with its ratepayers and residents.

The council voted unanimously in favour of the statement, supporting Mrs Black and Chief Executive Officer Hamish Dobbie in their quest to put up a fight to retain control of the council’s three waters infrastructural assets, which councillors and district residents and ratepayers believe the council is making a good fist of managing.

Mrs Black says the council believes the government’s proposal to reform three waters services’ delivery is poorly defined, and seriously flawed.

Informal Hurunui community feedback to date strongly opposes the Three Waters Reform, and Mrs Black says she looks forward to seeing the same high level of engagement with the next stage of consultation.

Submissions on the reforms will be accepted up until Sunday, December 5 at 5pm.

Details on how to submit are being delivered this week.