Waimakariri opting out of water reforms

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The Waimakariri District Council will not be joining the Government’s water reforms based on the information it has to date.

Mayor Dan Gordon says he and his council have made the decision “based on the limited information presented so far”.

Earlier in the week the council’s position was detailed in the North Canterbury News (page 8).

The announcement today, Thursday, July 15, by the Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, and the Minister of Local Government, Nanaia Mahuta, hasn’t changed this position, says Waimakariri Mayor Dan Gordon.

“Today was an opportunity for the Government to address the fundamental questions and provide key information the sector has been asking for. Instead a support package was announced,” he says.

“We want to know if the reform proposal will be beneficial for our residents and the council has a number of questions prepared that we will be asking of the Government.

“Only when we have this information, can we have an honest conversation with our community and truly consider the reforms.”

Mr Gordon says the council was concerned to hear today there is an eight week period to receive full information and check it before the Government considers next steps and the process for reform.

“This is an exceptionally fast pace, and not the best environment for good decision making.

“Our community own the assets and have made substantial investment into them over a number of years and its our job to understand and represent them. I expect the Government to honour their agreement and allow each community to have the choice to opt in or out.

“At this point we are not convinced there are benefits for the Waimakariri community but we need to consult with our community before reaching a final decision.”