CODC feedback to Government
At its meeting on 22 September 2021 Council considered a report on the Next Stages of the Three Waters Service Delivery Reform. The purpose of the report was to update Council on the Government’s 30 June 2021 and 15 July 2021 Three Waters Reform announcements, which change the reform process previously outlined in 2020, the specific data modelling Council has received to date, the implications of the revised Three Waters Reform proposal for Council alternative service delivery options and next steps (including uncertainties).
Read the Next Stages of the Three Waters Service Delivery Reform report (item 21.7.4) and even watch the item being discussed in this recording of the meeting that was livestreamed (at about the 1 hour 8 minute mark in the recording).
Recommendation made at the meeting:
Council requests the CEO to give feedback to the Government on the following changes to the Government’s proposal:
- Entrenching protections against privatisation in legislation in such a manner that these cannot be overturned by a simple majority of parliament.
- Requirements for entities to develop strong relationships with councils in respect to planning for growth
- Legislative requirements to use growth projections and spatial plans as a basis for planning for future growth, with 30 year plans which demonstrate that capacity requirements for growth have been incorporated into forward work planning.
- That the entities be required to implement a funding mechanism similar to development contributions to enable cumulative effects of growth to be funded in an equitable manner across the entity area.
- Establishment of a water ombudsman, as well as further legislative mechanisms that ensure consumer rights.
- Legislative requirement for standardised pricing for baseline services that is a level of service that meets minimum compliance requirements irrespective of location.
- That service levels higher than baseline could be paid for by the specific community who receives that benefit
- Government review the rating legislation around the 30% uniform annual charges cap. This will need to be reviewed with consideration given to increasing the cap to possibly 40%. Alternatively, Central Government may need to consider funding rating reviews for all councils that will breach the 30% cap under the current regime.
- That certainty be provided to local providers and contractors to ensure there is no negative financial or economic impact on local economies.
- Competency-based non-iwi appointments to the representative group should reflect the community in which they deliver services to (such as rural and urban representatives). Individuals who have local government experience (such as former mayors and local government staff) should be eligible for appointment.