Communities 4 Local Democracy
The voice of more than a million New Zealanders
Ōpōtiki Mayor, Lyn Riesterer has added her voice, and the voice of councillors to more than a dozen other mayors from 23 councils around the country, taking their Three Waters concerns to Parliament, marking the first step of a powerful new local democracy campaign.
Communities 4 Local Democracy - He hapori mō te Manapori is a newly formed and growing group of 23 councils from around the country. The group was created in response to serious concerns about the Government’s Three Waters reforms, and numbers are growing as local councils consider the implications of the proposed legislation – in particular, losing control of approximately $60 billion of community owned assets across the whole country.
More than a dozen mayors and other elected representatives are taking the group’s message to meetings at Parliament with National ACT and the Green Party.
“We spoke briefly to our community when we were putting together our feedback to government and most people were pretty clear - the process felt rushed and a done deal. There wasn’t a genuine opportunity for our community to deliberate and consider all the implications of the government’s Three Waters plan.
“We all agree with a focus on safe drinking water and a cleaner environment. No one is arguing against an independent water authority either.
“Our concern is with the Government’s proposed four entity model for three waters. We believe there is a better way to achieve the Government’s objectives by working in partnership with them and offering alternative models.
“Our action group will introduce fresh ideas for better water. But our fresh ideas will ensure that our local communities and mana whenua continue to have a say on how the community assets are used to achieve our health and environmental goals,” Mayor Riesterer said.
Communities 4 Local Democracy is taking a constructive approach to the situation by commissioning expert advice on alternative models that might achieve the objectives of Government and local communities. It will be sharing its findings when they are complete.
About Communities 4 Local Democracy
- Communities 4 Local Democracy partner councils (correct at Tuesday 15 December 2021):
Ashburton District Council
Central Hawkes Bay District Council
Christchurch City Council
Far North District Council
Grey District Council
Hurunui District Council
Kaikōura District Council
Kaipara District Council
Kawerau District Council
Manawatu District Council
Matamata-Piako District Council
Napier City Council
Ōpōtiki District Council
South Taranaki District Council
South Waikato District Council
Tararua District Council
Timaru District Council
Waimakariri District Council
Waimate District Council
Waipa District Council
Wairoa District Council
Westland District Council
Whangarei District Council
- Three partner councils (Whangārei District Council, Timaru District Council and Waimakariri District Council) recently filed a High Court application seeking clarification of what ownership means in relation to their ratepayer-funded water assets. Between them, these three councils have $1.76 billion in ratepayer funded water infrastructure.