The Government is on warning not to dumb down rules for New Zealand’s Three Waters to a one-size-fits-all regime as it won’t be a good fit for every community, National's Local Government spokesperson Jacqui Dean says.
“National supports the call from Councils around the country for the Government to show common sense on water reform.
“We’re all holding our breath awaiting Government announcements around Three Waters reforms this month and Councils are no doubt anxious about the direction that this new regime will take.
“What no one wants to see is mandatory one-size-fits-all policy making.
“This approach has the potential to negatively impact smaller local authorities, lumbering their limited ratepayer base with huge debt for years to come.
“What might fit the Wellington City Council will be very different to the needs of the Waimate District Council and it’s this diversity that the Government must take into account if its water reforms are to stay afloat.
“Councils do want high-quality infrastructure and services around waste, storm and drinking water.
“However, they’re fearful that the Government will enforce aggregated services within a specific time frame and not take into account the range of communities across the country and each Council’s ability to fund and support this massive change.”