Labour must listen to OAG and scrap Three Waters

The Office of the Auditor-General has delivered a scathing indictment of the Government’s Three Waters reforms and the Government should now abandon them, says National’s Local Government spokesperson Simon Watts.

In a submission to a Parliamentary committee released today, the Office of the Auditor-General says the proposed Three Waters changes will result in ‘a serious diminution in accountability to the public for a critical service’ and ‘no proposed audit scrutiny’.

“The submission delivers a damning analysis of the overlap of proposed governance structures, lack of access to information by the public to scrutinise the proposed Water Entities, a lack of performance measures and a lack of integration with other reforms and local planning,” Mr Watts says.

“This is a scathing indictment of Labour’s Three Waters reforms.

“The Government arrogantly ignored the criticism of local communities and National when it was told these reforms were unaccountable and not transparent, and now they are being confronted with the reality. 

“National has said from day one that these proposed reforms wouldn’t give communities access to accountability for the performance of these entities, and that their structure made them destined to fail. These concerns have been backed by the Office of the Auditor-General.

“Labour must accept they’ve got it wrong. Three Waters is not only unpopular, it is broken. The Government cannot now continue to ignore the critics of their reforms, and the public.

“It’s time for the Government to admit it was wrong and start again.

“If the Government goes ahead, despite the overwhelming criticism, National will repeal the changes and ensure water assets remain in local ownership.”