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Mayors hope Prime Minister’s comments signal Government will now consider the Hawke’s Bay solution for Three Waters Service Delivery

hb council leaders hb today credit web

Hawke’s Bay’s Mayors say they are encouraged by the Prime Minister’s comments yesterday indicating Government is open to making changes to its Three Waters service delivery reforms, and have called on the Minister of Local Government, Nanaia Mahuta to reconsider a Hawke’s Bay’s model.

Following the announcement of an alternative proposal from Christchurch and Auckland Mayors yesterday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said government was open to changes that improved the existing plans, as long as they did not move away from the fundamentals of them.

Wairoa District Council Mayor Craig Little says the Hawke’s Bay Three Waters Service Delivery Model aligns with Government’s reform objectives, but unlike Government’s plans, would also ensure Hawke’s Bay’s communities retain local control and ownership of three waters assets.

Mr Little said it is great to have the big city mayors supporting an alternative Three Waters plan which is what Hawke’s Bay Councils have been wanting and working on regionally since late 2018. “This is also in line with the Communities 4 Local Democracy (supported by around 30 Councils) approach which is based on foundations of ownership, accountability and local decision-making.”

“Support from Auckland and Christchurch means there is now support from Councils representing more than two thirds of New Zealand’s population. Surely now the government will listen, and begin a new constructive conversation based on what the majority of Councils and New Zealanders want.”

Mayor Kirsten Wise, Napier City Council says she and her mayoral colleagues hope this opens the door to getting the Hawke’s Bay model back on the table.

“We have consistently advocated for a regional service delivery model for Hawke’s Bay, because it is a far better option than government’s plans to establish four new super-entities across New Zealand to take control of all council-owned three waters infrastructure and services.” Ms Wise says. 

Sandra Hazlehurst, Mayor of Hastings District Council says Hawke’s Bay’s councils have always supported the need for better standards for drinking, waste and storm water service delivery, and agree the status quo is not an option.

“However, we strongly believe our more defined regional model is a better solution for Hawke’s Bay than what Government proposes.” she says.

The Hawke’s Bay model would:

  • achieve the efficiency and affordability and resilience outcomes for Hawke’s Bay’s drinking, waste and storm water services
  • keep decision-making local
  • ensure co-governance and satisfy the principles of Te Mana o te Wai
  • meet Hawke’s Bay councils’ regional investment objectives and principles, including better alignment with regional planning and freshwater management
  • ensure the new water standards set and monitored by Taumata Arowai are met
  • mean communities can have meaningful input into the planning and management of their water services.

Alex Walker, Mayor of Central Hawke’s Bay District Council says that a Crown funding support mechanism would help transition to a regional water model, in an affordable way for all of Hawke’s Bay’s communities.  

“We are committed to working together to achieve the very best outcome for the people of Hawke’s Bay and we are looking forward to constructively engaging with Government to make that happen.” concludes Ms Walker.  

Details of the Hawke’s Bay Three Waters Service Delivery Model can be found at .

Photo caption: Hawke's Bay council leaders this week (from left): Sandra Hazlehurst, Hinewai Ormsby, Craig Little, Alex Walker and Kirsten Wise. Photo credit: HB Today


7 November 2022

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