Terrible recommendations on Three Waters

The so called independent working group on three waters (dominated by Labour Party Mayors) has managed the impossible, and actually proposed changes that will make the proposed three waters reforms even worse!

Here’s some of what they are proposing:

  1. A further propaganda campaign funded by taxpayers to try and convince us that this is all a great idea
  2. A Claytons proposal that territorial authorities “own” the water entities, but this is ownership in name only, not in substance. Councils will not be able to perform any of the functions of ownership like with any other asset. The shares would have no voting rights, no financial rights and no rights of appointment. They are trying to con the public into thinking that territorial authorities will still have ownership, when all they’ll have is a piece of paper with no rights of ownership.
  3. The regional groups require a 75% majority to decide anything, so the councils with just 50% can never ever decide anything.
  4. In the northern area, Auckland Council will have just 4 out of 14 votes on the regional grouping, despite contributing 92% of the assets.
  5. An extra layer of bureaucracy with sub-regional groups within each region so the miniscule influence of ratepayers (who will have to pay the compulsory charges) will be ratepayers to councils to sub-regional groups to regional groups to appointment panel to the board of the water entity.
  6. They have also recommended that not only do Iwi get given 50% control of all the three waters assets in New Zealand, but that taxpayers fund Iwi to allow them to fully participate.

The bottom line remains the same – these new water entities will be unaccountable to the people who have to pay their compulsory charges. They could triple or quadruple what you pay for water infrastructure, and you will have zero ability to vote anyone out to stop it (unlike central and local government where you can). Have no doubt, that water charges will massively increase when you have a model where those who pay the bills have no ability to push back against huge increases.

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