“Labour has again resorted to bribery in a desperate attempt to get its wildly unpopular Three Waters reform programme across the line,” says ACT’s Local Government spokesperson Simon Court.
“In April Labour doled out $2 billion in taxpayers’ money to councils, today they’ve given out an extra $44 million to sweeten the deal.
“When people are squeezed from every direction, Labour is using taxes to bribe councils and ratepayers.
“Today’s announcement means every council, regardless of size or necessity, is getting $350,000 from the Government. It doesn’t even have to be used for water infrastructure either, it’s like Labour aren’t even trying to pretend it’s anything less than a good old-fashioned sweetener.
“Kiwis deserve so much better. This cost comes on top of advertising campaigns and consulting costs that are costing Kiwis’ millions. And for what? ACT will repeal Three Waters.
“It is critical that New Zealanders have access to safe drinking water and high-quality infrastructure for storm and wastewater. Currently the system is not up to scratch but Three Waters is not the answer.
ACT’s Water Infrastructure Plan would:
- Provide for councils to enter into 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 Partnerships (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 sup plying fewer than 30 endpoint users.
“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. It won’t show contempt for taxpayers by using their money to force a policy they have wholly rejected upon them.”