Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Three Waters reform a ‘wake-up call’ for Porirua council

Porirua Mayor, Anita Baker has welcomed Government progress on Three Waters reforms, saying that without the major restructure, Council would not have the resources to deliver water needs to an acceptable standard.

A working group established last year made recommendations to the Government on the future of drinking water, wastewater and stormwater, including local councils retaining ownership of infrastructure, and a new shareholding structure.

The reforms were announced at Pātaka in Porirua on Friday by the Minister for Infrastructure, Grant Robertson, and Minister of Local Government, Nanaia Mahuta.

Porirua City Council will be part of Entity C, covering 36 councils in the lower North Island.

Mayor Baker says when plans for reforming the management and governance of Three Waters were unveiled last year, Porirua City Council took the task of evaluating the proposal seriously, weighing it against the city’s current and future needs.

“It was a wake up call for us,” she says.

“Without reform, this Council does not have the resources or capacity to deliver 3 Waters to an acceptable standard in the future and so we knew change had to come if we were to maintain water quality, infrastructure and services that our residents deserve.

“We therefore reviewed the 3 Waters reforms not in isolation, but in the context of what we know is an unsustainable status quo.

“We thank the Government for listening to councils’ concerns and making these important, necessary, governance changes that will create financially robust water entities.”

The reforms are expected to begin 1 July, 2024, with Porirua to receive a $21.4 million support package as part of the reforms.

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