Three Waters Reforms - Public Meeting (UPDATE)
A big thanks to all those that were able to attend last night’s public meeting on the Three Waters Reform Programme at the Waimate Event Centre – it was great to see more than 350 locals come along and join the conversation.
The turnout shows the obvious public interest in this reform process, and it was very clear from the meeting that Waimate ratepayers had great concerns around any loss of local control. Your voices were heard loud and clear by Council, and as promised, we will continue to keep ratepayers fully informed as we move through this possible reform.
Unfortunately, we weren’t able to answer every question last night, but as stated, further public meetings will be held and we hope to provide more information and clarity as it comes to hand. As mentioned, this is the biggest shakeup in the local government sector for 30 years and it’s imperative that we work together to understand the implications of either decision –be that proceed with the reforms, or not.
For those of you who weren’t able to get along and are still seeking answers, we’re working to upload key information and resources to our website as soon as possible. Here, you’ll be able to find information about the reforms, background context, Council’s position and what the changes may or may not mean, along with a range of other resources to help inform your own understanding.
As things stand, we have great difficulty understanding the budgeted numbers presented by the Department of Internal Affairs and from day one, we’ve questioned the modeling and stated on record that the figures are flawed. On your behalf, we are continuing to ask the important questions to Government, though remain frustrated with the lack of clarity and response we are getting back.
With more than $70 million of water infrastructure and assets on the line within the Waimate District, these reforms have a significant impact on us all – and regardless of whether the Government forms four new entities, as proposed, or Council retain the delivery of services, the same people will be paying the bill – and that’s you, me and the neighbour next door.
MAYOR CRAIG ROWLEY