Thames Coromandel Update with Mayor Sandra Goudie
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Posted November 23, 2021
Council Matters ,
Mayor Sandra joined Brian Gentil again this week for a Thames Coromandel catch up.
They have been updating where TCDC is at with the Three Water Reform programme. Brian asked Mayor Sandra what they plan to do now? She explained her Council’s position telling him. “It’s our water, our assets - hands off.”
We’ve expressed our deep unhappiness with the Government’s decision to mandate Three Waters reform and we’re going to fight hard for our communities at an upcoming Select Committee hearing.
The mandate is a total betrayal of the principles of local government, and we will be expressing our communities’ strong opposition at every available forum.
The reforms had initially been progressed through a voluntary, partnership-based approach, and in 2020 our Council agreed to opt into the early stages of the reform package.
This did not commit our Council to further reform or to transfer of assets. We have since been listening closely to our communities and the very clear message we’re getting is that we must hold the line on our water infrastructure staying in our local ownership.
Our Council relayed our communities’ key positions through a formal feedback process in October. Shortly afterward, government announced the reforms would be forced through.
There’s been no attempt to either consult properly, nor to listen to the input received so far. It’s been an abysmal process.
Over the next two months, our Council will run a campaign seeking community opinion and input on the next stage of reform. We don’t intend to back down.
Brian asked what Council will not back down on?
Mayor Sandra said they will be advocating for water and water-related infrastructure assets to remain in local ownership.
Local voices to have a place in planning and service delivery.
Assessments about our district to be made on rateable household property numbers, rather than usually resident population.
Local determination of the entity boundary that is most appropriate for our district, based on stakeholder and community feedback.
Now summer is around the corner the Thames Coromandel district is likely to receive an influx of visitors, Brian asked … how is Council preparing?
Making sure core services run smoothly - local roads are ready, public education and awareness of water use/restrictions may be necessary and rubbish/recycling collected are priorities.
Mayor Sandrs said we are looking forward to our returning absentee ratepayers and visitors, many of who have been in lockdown for months. They’re going to arrive excited and rearing to go. Let’s all be patient with each other. In regards to COVID - our Council is in a communications/agency coordination capacity - we don’t have resource to do/fund more.
The Emergency Management Team will be coordinating along and issues that arise with the comms team and from an elected member perspective Councillor Sally Christie Chair of the Emergency Management Committee will be front and centre to ensure the district and its people have a safe and enjoyable summer.
To hear the full Thames Coromandel update with Mayor Sandra Goudie and Brian Gentil click on our podcast.