The Three Waters reform debate is waging on as commissioners discuss the implications of the proposal at a Tauranga Council meeting today.
Protesters gathered outside council chambers on Willow Street to voice their objections about the government’s Three Waters proposal.
The Government asked for feedback from local government regarding plans to transfer management of New Zealand’s three water services - drinking water, wastewater and stormwater - from the 67 local councils to four regional entities before the end of September. Councils have not yet been asked to commit to any reform programme.
Instead, they had until October 1 to provide feedback to the government.
The plans have received pushback from some members of the community, especially as the current Commission appointed to Council were done so by Minister Nanaia Mahuta.
Lobbying group the Tauranga Ratepayers Alliance, whose steering group contains several previously elected Councillors, believe this represents a potential conflict of interest.
Many of the group were part of today’s protest, which saw people wearing masks in accordance with current alert level restrictions.
Speaking to SunLive on Friday, October 1, Tauranga City Council commissioner Stephen Selwood says all commissioners bring specialised knowledge and experience to the council table.
“But it is a fundamental requirement of the governance role that we keep an open mind, listen to the views of others, consider the evidence and make informed decisions in the best interests of the city and the community.
Council will consider and approve a response to the initial Three Waters feedback request to Minister Mahuta at today’s Council meeting.
The Tauranga Council meeting can be viewed on YouTube.