Water  |  4 Oct 2021

Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel has written to Minister Nanaia Mahuta following the Council’s unanimous rejection of the Government’s proposed delivery model for three waters.

In the letter, the Mayor advises the Minister that the Council has also unanimously endorsed her previous correspondence to the Minister in which she advised that:

  • The Council would actively oppose the mandating of the proposed delivery model.
  • It would oppose any model that prevents the Council from requiring a water services entity to work towards, and maintaining, an exemption from the requirement to chlorinate public drinking supplies.
  • It would consult the community if it was required to transfer infrastructure assets to an entity it had no control over.

In this letter the Mayor draws attention to the context of the reforms and questions whether the Government has a sound understanding of stormwater service provisions and the place of urban waterways.

“In Christchurch our stormwater management for the city extends across into floodplain management and the provision of flood protection infrastructure such as stopbanks,’’ the Mayor writes.

“The key to managing stormwater and our floodplains is integration with land use planning and such alignment is particularly important for a low lying coastal city, such as Christchurch, in the face of the increasing risk of flooding from climate change.

“Our flood protection and stormwater infrastructure is planned and managed in accordance with our six values approach – ecology, landscape, recreation, cultural, heritage and drainage. Our modified and natural waterways are integrated into our urban form, provide public open space and are highly valued by residents and communities,’’ the letter says.

Mayor Dalziel has told the Minister that the Council is willing to keep working with the Government on finding a better way forward.

“As the country’s second largest city, we are very willing to work with you to find solutions to the challenges that have been identified. We have a lot of offer both at the governance and officer level. 

“At this point, however, based on the information we have, we cannot support the proposal put forward,’’ she says in the letter.

Read the full letter.