Saturday, June 15, 2024

Christchurch rejects Three Waters delivery model

Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel has written to Minister Nanaia Mahuta following Council’s unanimous rejection of the Government’s proposed Three Waters delivery model.

In the letter, the Mayor advised the Minister that Council has also unanimously endorsed her previous correspondence to the Minister in which she advised that:

  • The Council would actively oppose the mandating of the proposed delivery model.
  • It would oppose any model that prevents the Council from requiring a water services entity to work towards, and maintaining, an exemption from the requirement to chlorinate public drinking supplies.
  • It would consult the community if it was required to transfer infrastructure assets to an entity it had no control over.

In the letter, Mayor Dalziel draws attention to the context of the reforms and questions whether the Government has a sound understanding of stormwater service provisions and the place of urban waterways.

“In Christchurch our stormwater management for the city extends across into floodplain management and the provision of flood protection infrastructure such as stopbanks,’’ the Mayor wrote.

“The key to managing stormwater and our floodplains is integration with land use planning and such alignment is particularly important for a low lying coastal city, such as Christchurch, in the face of the increasing risk of flooding from climate change.

“Our flood protection and stormwater infrastructure is planned and managed in accordance with our six values approach – ecology, landscape, recreation, cultural, heritage and drainage. Our modified and natural waterways are integrated into our urban form, provide public open space and are highly valued by residents and communities,’’ the letter stated.

Mayor Dalziel has told the Minister that the Council is willing to keep working with the Government on finding a better way forward.

“As the country’s second largest city, we are very willing to work with you to find solutions to the challenges that have been identified. We have a lot of offer both at the governance and officer level.”

“At this point, however, based on the information we have, we cannot support the proposal put forward,’’ she said.

Read the full letter.

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