Whangarei District Council supports government’s repeal of the Three Waters reforms by 23 February and the establishment of an advisory group to help with new legislation, says Mayor Vince Cocurullo.
“I welcome the announcement that the bill has been before cabinet and through its first and second readings and that there will be a swift process to take it to completion.
“Whangarei’s position has always been that councils who have good assets, ring-fenced funding for three waters and are doing a good job should be able to continue as they are. They should be allowed to retain ownership and control of water services, and responsibility for service delivery.
“There are some who are not in the same situation as our council and they might want a different set-up and it should not be one-size-fits-all, with minimal local input and no choice.
“Our council has strongly resisted the earlier Three Waters proposals and we look forward to seeing what the legislation regarding three waters looks like in future. In the meantime we are putting water services back into our Long Term Plan and will be consulting with the public on that in late March/April.
“I am doubly pleased that our Council’s Chief Executive Simon Weston has been appointed to the technical advisory group set up to advise the Department of Internal affairs as the new legislation is prepared. He will also continue in his role as Chief Executive throughout the process.”
Prior to taking up the role of Chief Executive he was Council General Manager, Infrastructure for several years, and prior to that managed Whangarei’s water services, including overseeing development of Wilson’s dam.
Mr Weston will join four others on the Technical Advisory Group; Andreas Heuser (chair), managing director at Castalia Limited; Raveen Jaduram, director of the New Zealand Infrastructure Commission; Wendy Walker, chief executive of Porirua City Council; Mark Reese, partner at Chapman Tripp.
“The five bring excellent experience and knowledge of infrastructure, construction and local government, economic and policy projects, water reform and multiple other skillsets to the table.”