“The Auditor-General’s comments on Labour’s divisive ThreeWaters should be the final nail in the coffin for the widely-rejected reforms,”says ACT’s Local Government spokesperson Simon Court.

“The Auditor-General raised serious concerns about the reforms,noting they “could have an adverse effect on public accountability,transparency, and organisational performance.”

“This adds to the mountain of negative feedback Labour hasreceived on this policy. Councils and ratepayers have rejected Three Waters becausecentral government is barging in and taking control of their assets. Labour isbulldozing through all opposition though.

“ACT has made a commitment – if Labour steals it, ACT willrepeal it. It will be gone within our first 100 days of government.

“The worst aspect of the reforms is divisive co-governance.It's totally inappropriate to give iwi a seat at the table just because of whotheir ancestors were. All New Zealanders want clean and safe water, not justiwi. This issue isn’t solved by separating stormwater.

“While Labour is determined to push ahead with this bad lawmaking, ACT has highlighted a better way of doing things.

“ACT’s Water Infrastructure Plan would:

·        Return assets to Councils

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

·        Establish long term 30-year CentralGovernment-Local Government Partnership agreements to plan water infrastructureupgrades tailored to specific regions

·        Establish Public-Private Partnerships to attractinvestment from financial entities such as KiwiSaver funds, ACC, iwi investmentfunds, etc

·        Expand the exemption from domestic supply for asingle dwelling to also include all small water suppliers sup plying fewer than30 endpoint users.

“ACT’s plan will better balance community control of waterassets alongside a plan for levelling up the necessary infrastructure to ensuresafety and efficient water allocation. It won’t show contempt for taxpayers byusing their money to force a policy they have rejected upon them.”

More from

Simon Court