Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Taupo council ‘deeply concerned’ by water reforms

Taupō District Council says it is deeply concerned the Government has effectively mandated sweeping Three Waters reforms without properly consulting on, or even explaining, the move to the residents and ratepayers of New Zealand.

‘Entity B’ within which the Taupō District falls, will cover the area from the Coromandel to Taranaki, taking in 22 councils.

Taupō District Mayor, David Trewavas said it was “a massive step with deep implications for everyone in the country”.

“Neither we, nor any other councils were listened to about this urgent need to slow down and taihoa – and that is hugely disappointing. We wanted to work with the government on this, but we have been turned down,” Mayor Trewavas said.

“We, as a council representing our people, immediately recognised the huge scale of the reforms being proposed and the undue haste with which they were being rushed through. And the way this whole thing is being done is a huge concern for local communities, as shown by 60 out of the 67 local authorities staunchly opposing the way the reform process has been conducted.

“As elected members representing the everyday people of our district, my fellow Councillors and I have been inundated with questions and concerns by members of our community, many of whom are outraged by the way this has unfolded – they feel this reform is being done to them, not with them. We fully understand how they feel, as we have been blindsided as well.

“These assets are the people of Taupō District’s property , paid for by the local people, now just taken from us without our consent – it’s simply not on,” he said.

Mr Trewavas said the council was now waiting for its last chance to have a say, once reform legislation goes before Parliament and is considered by a select committee.

“Reform around water is needed, but we all have to be taken on this journey together. People’s voices must be heard to get things right – this is an enormously complicated issue with implications for all. We also strongly encourage all of our concerned community to send their views in to the select committee too,” the Mayor said.

He said Council was disappointed the reform wasn’t being conducted as part of the wider future of local government work.

“That would have made sense. It would have given everyone time to look at all the areas logically, in one united approach. This is not what is happening. With the eight-week period, we had the barest time to even try to start to work out what our communities wanted in the waters area.”

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