The reason Jacinda Ardern, Nanaia Mahuta think Three Waters will be a success – Newshub

Posted: October 30, 2021 at 3:08 pm

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff says the model is unfair.

"Auckland would contribute 94 percent of the assets acquired by the new water entity and get in return a minority voice on an oversight committee which in any case would have no effective power of governance and no ability to ensure responsiveness.

"Far from underinvesting in infrastructure, in this year's 10-year Budget, Auckland Council has invested $11 billion in water services for the coming decade. Projects like the $1.2 billion Central Interceptor address problems like wastewater overflows and will dramatically improve water quality of our beaches and harbours."

But Mahuta says the reforms will save Auckland ratepayers from higher water costs in the coming years.

"Within the next two years Auckland's water bills will at least double and under the reform proposals that we are making Auckland ratepayers will benefit significantly in terms of reduced costs."

Continued public ownership of water services is a bottom line for the Government, with any future proposal for privatisation requiring 75 percent of votes in favour in a public referendum. That makes it tricky to undo.

There will be opportunities for public consultation over the coming years including public submissions via the parliamentary select committee process, and public participation with a new working group set up.

The Government has been investigating a range of options for four years.

It considered funding the status quo, and a national centralised fund similar to the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) model. The Government also considered having 16 entities. But the alternatives were considered unsustainable and unaffordable.

The Government tried to make the reforms easier for councils by announcing a whopping $2.5 billion package in July to ensure they were not only "no worse off", but "better off" from the restructure of water assets.

The four water service entities are scheduled to begin operating in July 2024.

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The reason Jacinda Ardern, Nanaia Mahuta think Three Waters will be a success - Newshub

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