It has suddenly dawned on the Government that many councils will not willingly sign up for their so-called reform, so they have made it compulsory, which is in effect the nationalisation of council assets.
The questions and discussion were wide-ranging and as members of parliament it is always good to hear from real people about how the change would affect them. There were good suggestions made and perspectives that we had not heard before.
The Government says that communities will have a say in the management of their Three Waters assets, but that is really stretching the truth, as the governing board will be 50-50 split between council representatives and iwi. Given that there are 21 councils in entity C (includes the Top of the South) and 20 in entity D, which covers the rest of the South Island, how can there be any meaningful community input?
That some councillors have caved into the pressure to drop their opposition to Three Waters shows that they lack the courage to lead their community.
I urge you to ask council candidates for their position on Three Waters and if they have the courage to do what is best for their communities.
Stuart Smith is a N Z National Party politician who has been a member of the House of Representatives for the Kaikōura electorate since 2014. This article was first published HERE