The Government’s plans for transferring responsibility for three waters services from councils to four new mega-entities passed its final hurdle in Parliament last week.
Hawke’s Bay’s mayors say while they are disappointed that the regional model has not succeeded, they are now focused on working together to achieve the best outcomes for their communities under the new legislation.
Napier City Mayor Kirsten Wise says she and her mayoral colleagues remain steadfast in their commitment to regional collaboration on behalf of the people of Hawke’s Bay, as the reform process advances.
“These reforms represent the most significant change in local government in a generation and we are absolutely committed to continuing our work together to make sure our councils are ready for the future, and we achieve the best possible outcome for the people of Hawke’s Bay.”
Wairoa District Council Mayor Craig Little says Hawke’s Bay’s councils have always supported the need for better standards for drinking, waste and storm water service delivery, and set about coming up with a better option together - the Hawkes Bay model.
“The Three Waters consultation and reform process has been incredibly disappointing for us and for our communities. Our resolve to a regional solution remains unchanged.”
Alex Walker, Mayor Central Hawke’s Bay District Council says that the task now is for Hawke’s Bay’s councils to prepare and set their communities up for the future.
“Regardless of the politics we are seeing playing out in Wellington, change is coming. That’s why we are focussed on making sure that we do everything we can to protect the interests of our communities through the transition to the new arrangements, whatever they end up looking like.”
Hastings Mayor Sandra Hazlehurst says the focus must be on achieving the best outcome for Hawke’s Bay’s people. “We have never argued against the need for change. From the beginning we have agreed that the status quo was not an option. Now that the legislation for this change is in place, we must turn our attention to understanding the impact of this on the region’s councils, and how we leverage the decision to get the very best for our residents.
In Hastings, we have made massive strides on ensuring safe drinking water, and we will continue to put our best foot forward as we approach the change date in July 2024.
“Collaboration is essential to achieving the outcomes we know are best for Hawke’s Bay together, and we will continue to work together for those outcomes as we go forward.”
Details of the Hawke’s Bay Three Waters Service Delivery Model can be found at https://www.hb3waters.nz/hb-three-waters-review/ .
14 December 2022
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