Let's talk about the Government Reforms

 

While all the talk about Government Reforms may seem a little dull and you may think they won’t affect you, in fact, the reforms will have a major impact on Council – the way we work, and the things that we deliver to our community. 

The reforms are being introduced across the country by Central Government with the intention to bring positive change for our communities. In the coming two years all council’s across New Zealand will be playing their part in a number of reforms. Don’t tune out! Playing an active part means being better informed. So here we go:

What is proposed?

3Waters Reform

Central Government are taking over the management of the 3Waters infrastructure in 2024 to ensure that all New Zealanders have access to quality drinking water.  Because of the high costs of delivering this - bringing the management under a larger body (instead of being managed locally), will allow the cost to be spread over a greater number of households and reduces the average cost per household.

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Health Reform

New Zealand has a high-quality publicly funded health system and a highly skilled, dedicated and professional workforce. However, Government sees opportunities to make improvements to the system to make it perform better for all of us.

Waitaki has a unique interest in the Health Reform as we own our Hospital.  We want to make sure that our health services and facilities are protected for our community health and wellbeing.

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Future for Local Government Reform

The outcome of this reform is focused on enhancing wellbeing within our communities.  This will involve a review of what councils are delivering to the community – and look to realign some of the things that we have been doing, to do them differently to fit the world we are living in now.  Any changes that are made will be fit for the future, not just fit for today.

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Civil Defence and Emergency Management “Trifecta” Reform

The reform seeks to build a modern, inclusive, fit-for-purpose framework for the emergency management system. The aim is to create a well co-ordinated, high-performing emergency management system that is trusted to ensure that the impacts of events on people, the economy and the environment are reduced. 

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Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA) Reform

The Government believes our natural environment is under pressure – the way we use our land, water and other natural resources has proved unsustainable. Urban areas are struggling to keep pace with population growth, there is an urgent need to reduce carbon emissions and adapt to climate change, and there is a need to ensure that Māori have an effective role in the system.

As a result of these issues, the Government is repealing (removing) the RMA and replacing it with new legislation. The new legislation will better support the issues we are facing in our land use and environment today.

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What do you think about all this?

At Waitaki we are 100% supportive of bringing positive change for our community, and we want to be a leading Council through these change proposals, to make sure that any change proposed as part of the reforms are right for our community, and benefit our community. Are these changes positive?

For each reform, there is a lot of work involved by a number of people within each council, which means work we normally do can’t get done – or we have to bring in other people to support the process.  Despite this, the best outcomes for the future of Waitaki and our community remains our driver, and we want to be recognised as a leading council through the reforms.

Do you support Waitaki working to be a leading council in ensuring local government in the future is better able to meet our community’s needs?