“If Chris Hipkins thinks he can sell Three Waters by changing the name, he’s got another thing coming”, says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“Trying to sell an unpopular idea by branding it differently is something Jacinda Ardern would do, but Chris Hipkins doesn’t have Jacinda’s communication skills.

“More importantly, New Zealanders aren’t stupid.

“If media reports are correct, the ‘new’ Three Waters will still expropriate ratepayer assets and it will still divide New Zealanders by ancestry through co-government.

“Without budging on those elements, Kiwis won’t have a bar of it. Whatever superficial changes the Government proposes, New Zealanders know the policy is still a dog.

“BusinessDesk reports there might be 10 water entities rather than four, but that doesn’t fundamentally change the policy.

“Hipkins has been desperate to differentiate himself from Jacinda Ardern but, by reheating and rebranding co-governance, he’s showing he’s no different.

“There are real problems with drinking water quality in some communities, failing wastewater networks and sewage overflows into rivers and onto beaches. None of these problems are solved by expropriating ratepayer assets or with co-government.

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 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.

“We can improve the current system, but we don’t need to do so through state-mandated centralisation and allowing some people to have more influence than others based on their ethnicity.

“ACT’s plan will better balance community control of water assets alongside a plan for levelling up the necessary infrastructure to ensure safety and efficient water allocation.

“All New Zealanders are born equally and everyone should have equal rights.”

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