Thursday, 2nd September, 2021

The South Canterbury Chamber of Commerce is calling on the government to put a hold on the current Three Waters Reform. The Chamber agrees that all new Zealanders need to have access to safe drinking water but simply shifting water assets from one government body to another is only likely to see greater bureaucracy and in the long term a reduced service and access for South Canterbury communities and businesses.


“The Chamber supports the creation of a regulatory body to monitor standards but argues that to pursue a theme of centralization and the creation of metropolitan based services will see the regions of New Zealand reduced in scale and capability” said Wendy Smith. 


This is the third strand of centralization stripping out our polytechnics, District Health Boards and now the ownership and management of the Three Waters, assets included!! Some of these assets the Chamber understands have been privately funded as is common in many rural water schemes.


In the middle of a pandemic, it is no time to rush through these changes; a pause in proceedings will enable greater research and analysis to be undertaken with better decision making.  The reform of the RMA and the future of local government is also being considered and a one size fits all is not appropriate.


“As these services become centralized the regions loose control of their own assets and the huge investments that have been made over many many years. With centralization we also loose our human capital and the expertise that has ensured the regions like South Canterbury have prospered.”


For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact Wendy Smith, Chief Executive, phone 027 229 2949

The South Canterbury Chamber of Commerce is the voice of South Canterbury business, serving the community since 1905. With over 530 members and with a strong national and international Chamber family, we work together to build better business outcomes.  We recognise that healthy business cultures lead to the improved wellbeing of all South Cantabrian’s.