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The Coalition Government’s freshwater proposals are set to inflict huge costs on to ratepayers and councils, and the Government doesn’t seem to care, National’s Local Government spokesperson Jacqui Dean says.

“Local Government New Zealand’s (LGNZ) economic analysis of the proposals show that the costs to regional New Zealand will be vast, and there are real concerns about how local businesses will cope.

“The Minister claims that the changes have been ‘well canvased with the sector’ and that they’ve ‘come to a common ground’, but the many local councils who are grappling with how they will be able to afford this will not agree with her.

“LGNZ President Dave Cull has also expressed concerns at the breadth and pace of changes, highlighting that they ‘can only go as fast as a community’s ability to pay.’

“Some councils are still working to implement previous environmental initiatives, but this work is going to be superseded by another action plan with increased costs to ratepayers.

“The Minister needs to have meaningful consultation with these councils and listen to the concerns they have.”

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