The Ensign Column - Joseph Mooney MP - October 2022

Despite the recent cold snap, it was evident during my recent Meet your Local MP meeting in Gore that spring had truly arrived as we experienced three seasons in one day.

A key message I heard throughout the day was that we need farmers to do well to keep businesses busy and folks in jobs.

It was also great to see families out and about making the most of the school holidays, which also benefits our local businesses.

Local elections have ended, and hopefully, you exercised your right to have your say in who represents you around the table when decisions are made about you, your family and your community.

There are important conversations to be had on the Government's current reform programme, including Three Waters and winter grazing regulations and what it means for local communities.

On October 14, shadow spokesman for local government Simon Watts and I will host a series of Three Waters meetings, including one in Gore at 1pm.

Labour is ignoring the pleas of local communities by pushing forward with its reforms.

This is despite the Office of the Auditor-General delivering a scathing indictment of the Three Waters reforms. In a submission to a Parliamentary committee, the Office of the Auditor-General said the proposed Three Waters changes would result in "a serious diminution in accountability to the public for a critical service" and "no proposed audit scrutiny".

The Government has had opportunity after opportunity to consider alternatives to its reforms and the views of local councils. Still, they've decided they know best, and our communities will pay the price.

Their true agenda is one of a centralised, one-size-fits-all model, with less local voice for our communities.

The economic benefits of this model remain unproven, and the alternatives have been ignored.

We would like to hear your thoughts on this issue and hope you can join us. Simon and I will also share National's views on why the Government's proposed model doesn't make sense, won't work for our communities, and why a future National Government will repeal Labour's Three Waters legislation.