STDC Joins Campaign Against 3 Waters Decision
At last night’s (14 December) meeting the South Taranaki District Council (STDC) agreed to join a group of 23 councils opposed to central government’s Three Waters Reforms.
South Taranaki Mayor, Phil Nixon says Councillors were unanimous in their support for signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to partner with councils to oppose the Government’s proposed reform model and campaign in favour of other three waters options that meet the needs of community, councils and government.
As part of joining Councillors agreed to contribute $15,000 to the campaign.
Mayor Phil Nixon says the Council decided to join the campaign after Government ignored requests to change its decision.
"While we accepted that things needed some change, what really upset us and many of our ratepayers was Government’s decision to force councils to be part of the Three Waters Reform without any consultation. We were consistently told by the Government that there would be opportunity for full public consultation on this hugely important matter. But now, and after the majority of councils asked the Government to pause and rethink, they ignored us and took decision making completely out of our hands. It’s wrong and it's anti-democratic," he says.
“Subsequent requests we’ve made to the Government to change their decision and consult with the public have fallen on deaf ears, so perhaps the combined voice of 23 plus Councils will be more successful.”
Mayor Nixon says in all his years as an elected official he’s never seen so many residents, so angry over a single issue.
“Given the Government hasn’t provided opportunities for genuine participation in three waters reform, we think it’s entirely appropriate for our Council to use all means at our disposal for representing the residents of South Taranaki and giving them a voice.”