Northland councils will be among nearly two dozen local bodies fighting the Government's Three Waters mandating with the launch of a major new campaign at Parliament.
Far North, Kaipara and Whangārei District Councils are among 22 councils in the Communities 4 Democracy campaign being launched today.
More than a million people are represented by the almost a third of New Zealand's 67 councils involved in the campaign.
The future of their collective $60 billion of Three Waters infrastructure - drinking water, stormwater and wastewater infrastructure -is at stake.
Far North Mayor John Carter said the councils were against the way the Government had mandated their participation in the Three Waters programme.
"It's about taking away our local community control," Carter said.
"It's been forced on us by people who have no local knowledge of Northland and how our system works."
Carter was scheduled to be among 30 mayors and leaders from around New Zealand launching the campaign in Parliament but bad weather meant his flight from Kerikeri to the capital was cancelled.
Northland is the only region in New Zealand with all its councils involved in the campaign.
Carter, a former Minister of Local Government and a current Local Government New Zealand board member, said in his 55 years in the sector he had never seen councils banding together as they were doing in this campaign. This showed the depth of feeling over the issue.
He said councils were opposed to the mandated four-entity model being put forward for
restructuring the sector.
Carter said it was important that communities, who had paid for these assets, had a voice over the issue.
Communities 4 Democracy has put together an alternative approach to the mandated four entity model, where councils' Three Waters infrastructure is taken out of their control - and what it says is important community involvement in the sector's future governance and management.
Communities 4 Democracy chair and Manawatu Mayor Helen Worboys said Northland councils were playing a crucial role in the campaign.