Council to suggest further 3 Waters reforms option

The Gore District Council will be suggesting another option to the Government when it gives feedback on the proposed Three Waters reforms.

At an extraordinary meeting of the council yesterday, councillors discussed a report by chief executive Stephen Parry which summarised the reforms into the two options available to the council.

Mr Parry said the two options were to opt into the proposal where one entity provides Three Waters services or to opt out.

The advantages and disadvantages of both were outlined.

It would not be economically viable for the council to opt out, he said.

Another solution would allow the council to continue to provide Three Waters services ‘‘if the Government had a funding model akin to what occurs in roading with Waka Kotahi [NZ Transport Agency], as a legitimate option for consideration’’.

He recommended this option be included in the feedback.

Outlining the report, Mr Parry said he believed it was important for the council to continue to be part of the discussion about the new reforms and seek clarity on issues.

Cr Cliff Bolger said while ratepayers could not pay for the reforms required, council staff were capable of completing the necessary work.

‘‘External funding or assisting from central government, I believe, would get things up and running quicker— may possibly be even more efficient than another level of bureaucracy.’’

Cr Richard McPhail said the council was having to make decisions quickly without knowing the full extent of the reforms.

‘‘You can’t do a jigsaw without all the pieces and that’s what we are looking at.’’

The council should ask for more information, he said.

The council has until October 1 to give feedback on the proposed reforms.


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