Thursday, 2 June 2022

More co-governance, bureaucracy in new Three Waters bill


“Far from pulling back from co-governance in Three Waters, Labour has doubled down,” says ACT’s Local Government spokesperson Simon Court.

“Today, the Government introduced its Three Waters legislation to Parliament.

“In April, Nanaia Mahuta promised:

"…oversight with local government and iwi Māori will only happen at the regional representative group level…"

“But that’s not the case. A new layer of bureaucracy has been created called regional advisory panels and it will require the appointment of Māori.

“Co-governance is the worst aspect of the reforms. It’s divisive, dangerous and totally inappropriate to give iwi a seat at the table just because of who their ancestors were. All New Zealanders want clean and safe water, not just iwi.

“New Zealanders have rejected Three Waters but Labour plans to bulldoze through any opposition.

“Even former Labour Party leader Phil Goff rejects the reforms. Labour needs to listen to New Zealanders.

“Any Government ACT is a part of will reverse Three Waters.

“Labour has wasted millions on taxpayer-funded propaganda ad campaigns, tried to bribe councils with $2 billion, and is now arrogantly pushing ahead.

“Ratepayers are rejecting Three Waters because Labour is taking control of their assets and centralising them in a bureaucratic new regime.

“The current system is not up to scratch, but the Government’s Three Waters reforms are not the answer. Taking control of water assets away from councils is wrong. Moving water assets from one government body to another is a recipe for more bureaucracy and less local input.

“ACT’s alternative Water Infrastructure Plan would allow community control of water assets and improve the necessary infrastructure to ensure safety and efficient water allocation.”

ACT’s Water Infrastructure Plan would:

  • Provide for councils to enter voluntary “shared services” agreements, gaining the benefits of scale, while retaining local ownership and control
  • Establish long term 30-year Central Government-Local Government Partnership agreements to plan water infrastructure upgrades tailored to specific regions
  • Establish a Public-Private Partnerships (through our proposed Nation Building Agency) to attract investment from financial entities such as KiwiSaver funds, ACC, iwi investment funds, etc.
  • Expand the exemption from domestic supply for a single dwelling to also include all small water suppliers sup plying fewer than 30 endpoint users.