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Three Waters overhaul

Three Waters

Wairoa Mayor Craig Little has welcomed the Government’s Three Waters proposal overhaul.

“This is a step in the right direction and there are fairly big nuts and bolts to be sorted out, particularly around localism and ownership, however, this is a great start and shows the government is finally listening.”

A significant change is the creation of 10 public water entities to control drinking, waste and storm water assets across the country. Under the previous proposal there were four entities.

Wairoa will be part of a Tairawhiti/Gisborne Hawke’s Bay region which Mr Little said had been talked about when the Hawke’s Bay model was being put together prior to the Three Waters review.

The ultimate deadline for getting the new water entities up and running has been pushed out, from July 2024 to July 2026. Regions that are ready can launch a public water entity sooner.

“I have clearly stated I was in favour of a review of the country’s Three Waters, but believed the previous proposal was too centralised, was pre-determined and that Wairoa would not benefit. I believe this overhaul is a good start and a step in the right direction.

“Wairoa is a geographically isolated area, as has been further demonstrated by the impacts of Cyclone Gabrielle. Wairoa’s central location nestled in the centre of an entity that includes Hawke’s Bay and Tairawhiti would give our residents more confidence for the future.

“Under this change we could have regional support from both ends of our district and know we can work together in a sensible way with both Tairawhiti and Hawke’s Bay to achieve the results we need. This approach is similar to the way we are trying to roll out our Cyclone Gabrielle recovery where we are not restricted by geographical boundaries, but instead ensure our approaches are practical and best suited for our people.

“I welcome this reset as it shows the government is acknowledging there were issues, and I look forward to drilling into the detail and discussing with colleagues the implications of this change.”

13 April 2023

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