Water concerns reiterated

The Queenstown Lakes District Council’s concerns over the proposed Three Waters reform have been reiterated in its draft submission, which will be the subject of an extraordinary council meeting on Tuesday.

In a report to councillors, corporate services senior policy adviser Carrie Williams said the council would seek to speak to its submission to the Select Committee.

The draft submission said while the council supported the need for safe drinking water, environmental protection, efficient service provisions and improved participation by mana whenua in decision-making about Three Waters, it had still had "significant concerns" about the nature and programme of reform.

It also continued to oppose "Government mandating the proposed entity-based model for water services delivery".

Points being emphasised in the council’s draft submission included a fundamental opposition to the service delivery model proposed under the Bill, the way in which it was being progressed through Parliament and the present lack of detail.

The council also noted the proposed shareholding model did not account for the high visitor numbers and rapid growth in the Queenstown Lakes district, and there was a "general lack of community understanding" around the reform, which required "urgent attention" at a government level.

"In addition, there is an overall lack of assurance in the current wording of the Bill that the community and territorial shareholder voice will be heard," the draft submission said.

"Council has significant concerns about the lack of representation and diversity of the regional representative groups, the constitutions of the water services entities, and future privatisation regarding joint arrangements by water services entities."

Tuesday’s meeting is scheduled to begin at noon.




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