An open letter to Minister Mahuta from CODC Councillors
An open letter to Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta from the Councillors of the Central Otago district
We write to express our and our community’s extreme disappointment at your intention to mandate the Three Waters Reforms.
That such a massive change to the ownership structure of infrastructure paid for by generations of Central Otago people is happening without the current people having a chance to express their views is causing great upset to many in our community. In addition, it flies against the policy of consultation with our public over crucial matters, a policy embedded in both the history of local government in New Zealand and the provisions of the Local Government Act 2002.
Together with our community we share their many concerns regarding the proposal, including:
- That the proposed co-governance model is inequitable. It represents a major change in the political and constitutional relationship between our community and their council and between local government and central government. Neither we nor our community have been consulted on this proposal.
- Lack of local input in that governance model
- Inability for small districts like ours to have needs met in the governance model.
- Potential loss of local control of spatial planning and development of our residential and industrial land through being beholden to the entity to provide needed infrastructure in a timely manner.
- Lack of guarantee from Government of standardised pricing within each entity.
- Speed of change.
- Lack of accountability to consumer needs and concerns.
We believe that the mandating of the reforms is a direct attack to local democracy and insist that the promise to our communities to be able to decide whether our District becomes part of the new reforms or not, should be kept.