The Green Party welcomes the recommendations of the Three Waters independent working group and urges the Government to seriously consider the report and its constructive recommendations.
“Access to clean water is a basic human right and a public good,” says Eugenie Sage, Green spokesperson on Three Waters.
“The Greens called for the Government to press pause last year and listen to councils. We were pleased when this happened and that Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta released an exposure draft of the Water Services Entities Bill, and the working group was established.
“Many of the working group’s recommendations are consistent with changes the Green Party has sought. These recommendations include:
- local communities collectively owning the water services entities through local councils having a proportionate shareholding in the entities
- additional protections against privatisation such as requiring unanimous shareholder approval
- a stronger voice and representation for local communities on the Regional Representation Group and greater accountability around its strategic decision making
- wider application of Te Mana o Te Wai as an overarching objective, and
- more effective co-governance embracing Te Ao Māori.
“It is imperative that the Government now takes the time to consider seriously the recommendations of the working group, and the greater role and input for democratically-elected local authorities and iwi, and make substantive changes to the Water Services Entities Bill.
“We acknowledge that there are particular issues for Auckland, and support the Government working with Auckland Council and mana whenua further on how to integrate Watercare into the reforms.”