With important decisions looming on water reforms, Christchurch City Council Chief Executive Dawn Baxendale is urging residents to share their thoughts on what matters most to them.
“We want residents to be part of our decision-making process, so to get the conversation started we have put together a short online survey to help us gauge what is important to people when it comes to the delivery and management of drinking water, wastewater and stormwater services – the ‘three waters’.
“The survey will only take about five minutes to complete and you don’t need to be an expert on the Government’s proposed reform to fill it out. The questions are simply about what are your priorities and values,’’ Mrs Baxendale says.
“We are in the midst of an eight-week period in which we can give the Government feedback on its Three Waters Reform Programme and we want our communities to help shape our response.
“What the Government is proposing is transformational reform of the way that three water services in New Zealand are delivered. The implications of these reforms will be felt for generations so we need to consider them carefully and weigh all the issues.
“You may have heard other councils talking about whether they are going to opt in or opt out of the reforms. At some stage Christchurch will have to make a call on that, but we are not at that point.
“We need more information. These are incredibly complex proposals and elected members do not yet have all the detail that they need to be able to judge what is best for our city and for our ratepayers,’’ Mrs Baxendale says.
This week the Canterbury Mayoral Forum wrote to the Local Government Minister to ask her to pause the three waters reform process.
The forum is concerned that without a pause, there is a very real risk that Councils and their communities will not be able to make informed decisions about the impact of the proposed reform outcomes.
“These reforms are a decision of major significance so we intend to consult formally with our communities. However, in the meantime we want to get a sense of what matters to you so please make the time to fill out the survey,’’ Mrs Baxendale says.
“We all get drinking water from the tap and flush toilets, so the future delivery and management of drinking water, wastewater and stormwater services is an issue that will affect everyone.’’
The survey can be filled out until Sunday 12 September.