“Any Government ACT is a part of will reverse Labour’s wildly unpopular Three Water reforms,” says ACT’s Local Government spokesperson Simon Court.
“They’ve delayed it multiple times, wasted millions on taxpayer-funded propaganda ad campaigns, and have tried to bribe councils to get them on board. When none of this worked, Labour has arrogantly pushed ahead anyway.
“Councils and ratepayers are rejecting Three Waters because central government is barging in taking control of their assets.
"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 who their ancestors were. All New Zealanders want clean and safe water, not just iwi.
“The fact prominent mayors such as Jason Smith and Phil Goff are still rejecting the reforms is further evidence that the Government hasn’t sorted them out.
“There is also no rationale for continuing to have co-governance at the centre of the reforms. Nanaia Mahuta herself has admitted that “Māori have not expressed rights and interests in three waters assets over and above those as ratepayers within their respective communities of interest.”
“The current system is not up to scratch, but the Government’s Three Waters reforms are not the answer. Taking control of water assets away from councils is wrong. Moving water assets from one government body to another is a recipe for more bureaucracy and less local input.
“ACT’s alternative Water Infrastructure Plan would allow community control of water assets and improve the necessary infrastructure to ensure safety and efficient water allocation."
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 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.