The first tranche of $2 billion worth of funding for councils is nothing more than a distraction from the failure of Labour’s Three Waters reforms and a shameless bribery attempt, National’s Local Government spokesperson Simon Watts says.
“Councils can now apply for their share of $500 million in funding to spend on projects of their choosing – even those not related to water infrastructure.
“The lack of focus for this funding shows it’s just a bribe to sell Three Waters to councils who have rejected it and a cynical attempt to repair the broken relationship between government and councils.
“Many councils are struggling for funds and have projects worthy of receiving support. They deserve better than a government that dangles money only when they’re trying to sell their agenda.
“The Government should put that money towards developing real solutions to infrastructure problems, like encouraging councils to collaborate, contract and form CCOs as National has suggested.
“Councils have had their concerns ignored and their alternative proposals have been rejected because this Labour Government is committed to centralisation and control.
“National believes retaining local community ownership is the best form of protection against privatisation of the water assets.”
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