February update: Mayoral Forum

The Mayoral Forum met on 19 February 2021. They also took a freight tour on 18 and 19 February in conjunction with the Regional Transport Committee.

Significant agenda items are summarised on this page. View the full agenda.

Future of Local Government

The Forum is seeking to initiate discussion around what the future of local government might look like. A facilitated workshop is scheduled in March to discuss this more fully. Key points discussed included:

  • concerns around process
  • impacts of Three Waters and RMA reforms
  • the need for change to be aligned with community needs
  • possible areas for councils to extend their work, including housing, health, social welfare and roading
  • the strong need to work together with councils within the region and with Ngāi Tahu in thinking about the future

Resource Management Reform (Randerson Report)

The Forum received a paper summarising the Government’s intention and noting that the CEs Forum will receive a report in May covering the implications for Canterbury councils and how resource management work programmes will be aligned to meet legislative changes.

Water Services Bill Submission

The Forum agreed to submit on the water services bill, and will seek for their submission to be heard in person by the Select Committee.

Emerging Regional Public Sector Priorities

Ben Clark, the Regional Public Service Lead for Canterbury, attended the meeting to discuss work to support government agencies to work together on community wellbeing. Forum members noted that this is a great opportunity to do the best we can for Canterbury, and that TAs would like to engage with him on this individually.

Reform of Three Waters service delivery

An update was provided on the review of Canterbury Three Waters service delivery being undertaken for Canterbury councils and Ngāi Tahu. The Forum discussed March workshops with DIA, a potential Canterbury position to move forward with, and agreed to write to the Minister of Local Government noting concern around consultation timing.

Ngāi Tahu Statement of Claim

Dr Te Maire Tau, Te Wera King and Gabrielle Huria joined the meeting to contribute to the Three Waters discussion and to give an overview of Ngāi Tahu’s Statement of Claim with the Crown for rangatiratanga over freshwater. Ngāi Tahu hopes to achieve a treaty-compliant management of wai māori in the Ngāi Tahu takiwā.

Other agenda items included

  • confirming portfolio groups of members and key messages for anticipated meetings with ministers.
  • agreeing to make a decision on next steps for the South Island Destination Management plan at the August 2021 meeting
  • an overview of Ashburton’s report on the economic impact of Essential Freshwater reforms
  • an update from the Climate Change Steering Committee, including an update on the successful workshop held recently with council representatives from all TAs
  • an update on the Canterbury Biodiversity Champions, noting that the first meeting was held and that the group will report back to the Forum when action is required
  • an update from the Chief Executives Forum.

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