July 18, 2022
On 7-8 June 2022, Chambers member Jack Hodder QC and junior Bridget McLay appeared in the Wellington High Court on behalf of three local councils seeking declarations in response to the Government’s controversial ‘Three Waters’ reform proposals. Taz Haradasa of Thorndon Chambers also appeared as second junior.
In the proceedings, Timaru, Waimakariri and Whangarei District Councils sought declarations regarding the long-standing role and meaning of local democratic accountability in New Zealand. The declarations seek confirmation that local government is an important part of our overall democratic society, that local authorities have orthodox property rights in their assets (but would have none under the restructuring proposals), and that the restructuring would remove the current democratic accountability for the management of Three Waters assets.
The councils submitted these rights and principles are of major legal and constitutional significance.
The proceeding was defended by the Crown. Justice Mallon reserved her decision.
Media coverage of the proceedings can be found here: