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Penny Simmonds Invercargill MP - Local Water Done Well in South

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15 April 2024, 4:33 PM

Penny Simmonds Invercargill MP - Local Water Done Well in SouthPenny Simmonds Invercargill MP.

Councils and voters around the country, like Invercargill, rejected Labour’s expensive and bureaucratic Three Waters regime, and earlier this year the Coalition Government repealed the policies.

 

Now Cabinet has agreed on key steps to implement “Local Water Done Well” – the Government’s plan for financially sustainable, locally delivered water infrastructure and services.

 

Local control was a key concern for Southern ratepayers last year, with many unhappy at the prospect of handing over local water assets built up over many decades.

 

This Government has a clear plan to deliver better, financially sustainable, and affordable water services, while crucially retaining local control of water assets.

 

Our plan recognises the importance of local decision making and flexibility for communities and councils.

 

This is important because it will allow councils, like Invercargill, Southland and Gore, to determine how their water services will be delivered. 

 

Cabinet has agreed to a streamlined decision-making process for the establishment of council-controlled organisations (CCOs) for water services, as part of “Local Water Done Well.”

 

The transitional legislation to enable this is expected to be passed by mid-2024 and this will make it easier for early movers to shift the delivery of water services into council-controlled organisations - as a first step, setting the foundations for more financially sustainable and transparent services.

 

Transitional provisions will also include the requirement for councils to prepare Water Services Delivery Plans within 12 months. 

 

This will demonstrate their commitment to deliver water services that are financially sustainable, meet regulatory standards for water infrastructure quality, and unlock housing growth.

 

As we move forward, the Government will provide further details in mid-2024 on the broader range of structural and financing tools which will be available to councils.

 

This will ensure councils, like those in the South, can make the required investment in water services infrastructure. This legislation will be passed by the middle of 2025.


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