Council to put community first with Three Waters
Western Bay of Plenty District Council is looking closely at the information released by the Government on its Three Waters proposals.
The Government has announced it intends transferring management of drinking water, wastewater and stormwater from 67 independent councils to four large publicly-owned entities. Each entity would be governed by an independent board.
The announcement means Western Bay of Plenty District Council is likely to be part of a central North Island entity involving 22 councils in the greater Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Taranaki and parts of Manawatu-Whanganui. Boundaries will be confirmed in September 2021, following further discussion with councils and iwi. The change will not come into place until 2024 and councils will continue to manage three waters until then.
Western Bay Mayor Garry Webber says Council has done well to look after its water infrastructure but it is important to consider what is best for the community for the long term.
“We will await to see what the Minister’s next steps are for the proposed water reforms,” says Mayor Garry.
“We understand the reforms are looking at beginning on 1 July 2024 but this is a long way out and a lot of water needs to pass under the bridge before then.
“In the meantime we will continue to support the process while interrogating all of the information that comes our way. We, like all other councils, need to ask the question, ‘what are the long run implications for our residents if we don’t join the new grouping?’”
He says Council has done a good job investing in water infrastructure and in turn providing a good service to its residents.
“Our infrastructure is in a good state and this reflects the major investments we have made in the past. Our assets are modern and well maintained and we are committed to ensuring this continues now and into the future.
“We are elected by our residents to make decisions in their best interest and that is what we will continue to do.”