Your article in The Press this week on the Three Waters focuses on opposition to co-covernance. While this may well be the reason for opposition trotted out by National, Act and the Taxpayer’s Union, it misses an important point that is the broken relationship between Government and local government. My hope is that Stuff will dig deeper into this issue.
Local and regional government have been quietly building relationships with hapu and iwi around the country – Ecan’s appointment of two Ngai Tahu Councillors is a case in point.
What is at the heart of informed opposition to Three Waters is not co-governance, but the failure to build a collaborative relationship between the national and local arms of government. The draft report of the The Future of Local Government (out for consultation – responses due by 28 February) calls for
“A stronger relationship between central and local Government” going on to say the current relationship ranges from strained to broken with a local of trust in both directions. It also points out the need for an “Equitable funding and finance model” for local government.
My hope is that our new prime minister puts Three Waters on hold in order to focus in a positive and committed way on The Future of Local Government report and how we can rebuild trust and collaboration and establish a more equitable funding model for local government.
Let’s do this
Rosemary Neave – an edited form of this letter published 27/1/2023 in The Press