Latest Three Waters report fails to address Kāpiti concerns
Published 09 Mar 2022
Kāpiti Coast District Mayor K Gurunathan says recommendations from the Three Waters Reform Working Group on Representation, Governance and Accountability released today still fall short of addressing concerns raised by his Council.
“Our Council has worked hard over the past 15 years to strengthen its three waters infrastructure and we plan to invest a further $1.5 billion in renewals and upgrades over the next 30 years at the same cost to ratepayers as it is today. But it’s clear we’ll still be side-lined and woefully underfunded if we are to remain as part of water service entity C in its current form.”
“Like everyone else involved in the three waters reforms, we want to achieve better water outcomes for all New Zealanders but this should not be at the cost of those who have proven that you can turn things around.
“I fail to see why larger councils with a much larger ratepayer base and access to funding can’t sort themselves out. Why should Kāpiti residents be forced to pay for what some might call ‘blatant neglect’ by others.
“Throughout this process and based on our own experience in Kāpiti, we’ve remained objective and have tried to advocate for alternative solutions that would support the underlying principle of the reforms - Te Mana o Te Wai (ensuring the health and wellbeing of all our waters). Yet we continue to be marginalised for our success.
“At face value, noting that we only received the Working Group’s report this morning, I fail to see how our local voice will be heard irrespective of what regional representative groups or sub-groups are put in place.
“While we acknowledge that there were limitations to the Working Group’s investigations and that they have attempted to make changes to strengthen governance and accountability within the proposed four water service entities, I’m yet to be convinced that this will bode well for Kāpiti ratepayers.
“We acknowledge that the devil remains in the detail and warmly invite officials to come and talk to our Council directly about what’s possible if you set your mind to it.”