“Labour is continuing to bulldoze through its wildly unpopular Three Waters policy, despite New Zealanders overwhelmingly rejecting it,” says ACT’s Local Government spokesperson Simon Court.

“Select Committee today reported back, and Nanaia Mahuta won’t make any significant changes except to increase regional representatives so they’re unlimited as long as they’re 50/50 iwi and council.

“Essentially that means enormous and unwieldy committees, still managed by co-governance and remote entities.  

“The government has failed to listen to anyone in any substantial way. The only good news is these reforms have a life expectancy identical to the current government. Under ACT, they will be gone.

“Instead of just taking assets, ACT has an alternative Water Infrastructure Plan. We have received detailed feedback from Mayors, many of whom support all or some aspects of the plan.

ACT’s Water Infrastructure Plan would:

Provide for councils to enter voluntary “shared services” agreements, gaining the benefits of scale, while retaining local ownership and control

Establish long term 30-year Central Government-Local Government Partnership agreements to plan water infrastructure upgrades tailored to specific regions

Establish a Public-Private Partnership (through our proposed Nation Building Agency) to attract investment from financial entities such as KiwiSaver funds, ACC, iwi investment funds, etc.

Expand the exemption from domestic supply for a single dwelling to also include all small water suppliers supplying fewer than 30 endpoint users.

“We can improve the current system, but we don’t need to do so through state-mandated centralisation.

“ACT’s plan will better balance community control of water assets alongside a plan for levelling up the necessary infrastructure to ensure safety and efficient water allocation.

“Unlike Labour, ACT has listened to New Zealanders, and we will repeal Labour’s Three Waters policy.”

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