Government has failed taxpayers and ratepayers with a lack of democratic accountability and community consultation to ram through unpopular plans to progress the transfer of local authority owned water assets to four new mega entities.
“Local councils have unwittingly aided government’s fast tracking of the Three Waters asset grab plan,” says Auckland Business Chamber CEO, Michael Barnett. “Ratepayers have pumped over $10 billion into Watercare’s infrastructure to manage drinking and wastewater and billions more into Healthy Waters to manage stormwater, but at no point has Auckland Council explained why it is not in the best interests of the people to hand over control and governance to something that will be designed by committee.
Other Councils have neglected the opportunity to include their water ownership status for discussion in their Long-Term Plans – it seems that its infrastructure, out of sight, out of mind.”
Barnett said that both local and central Government “talks big” on how critical it is to be inclusive and consult with all affected parties, yet they have failed to let people have their say, and not adhered to their own rule book.
“The magnitude and consequences of the Three Waters reform are too serious to be rushed like this and better consultation should be enabled and encouraged.”
For more information, please contact Michael Barnett on 027 563 1150
Michael Barnett, Chief Executive, Auckland Business Chamber