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Three Waters: ‘Changes make water reforms more workable for communities and councils’ says Mahuta

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The Government has welcomed proposed recommendations to improve the workability of water reform legislation, says Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta.

‘At a time when the cost of living challenges confronting households is real, these reforms will help lessen the burden of necessary water infrastructure investment on ratepayers.’

Parliament’s cross-party Finance and Expenditure Committee has reported back after five months’ work on the Water Services Entities Bill. Over 85,000 public submissions were made to the Select Committee.

Nevertheless the government is pursuing its aim of co-governance.

‘The bill establishes four publicly-owned water entities to deliver more cost-effective, safe and efficient water services, through improved investment and management.’

‘Government, councils and communities agree: we need to fix water networks and keep costs down. Financially sustainable investment in water infrastructure is beyond the reach of most of our 67 local councils and their ratepayers if they work in isolation.

‘The amendments make the legislation more workable. They improve local voice, strengthen representation, and increase transparency. They will also provide certainty to councils and those working in the water services sector about the future of our critical infrastructure.

‘We heard from rural councils who felt their voices would be drowned out by larger urban centres. At their request, the Bill now includes a provision which requires a mix of rural, provincial and metropolitan councils to be present on the regional representative group.

‘We will also require the entities to establish an annual shareholders’ meeting. In the interests of transparency, we are also requiring these meetings and entity board meetings to be held in public. This level of public reporting will give communities greater visibility of infrastructure investment that supports broader wellbeing.

‘Internal Affairs officials have also worked with the Office of the Auditor-General to improve accountability measures in the legislation, including strengthened reporting lines and obligations and increased audit scrutiny.

‘We have listened to local government concerns about the role of entities in the local planning system. Our response is clear: entities will be ‘plan-takers’ not ‘plan-makers’.

‘We have agreed to stronger rules to require water entities to better support and enable planning processes and growth. This gives councils and their communities certainty they will still be in the driving seat when it comes to planning and development.

‘I also acknowledge those submissions and other input which questioned the fundamental elements of the water reforms. The Government has listened to and considered these views. We have also had tough conversations over the past five years since the former National Government first began this process.

‘We remain firmly of the view that the future affordability and sustainability of our water infrastructure is best served by reform underpinned by the four fundamentals of public ownership, balance sheet separation, good governance, and Treaty partnership,’ said Mahuta.

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9 COMMENTS

  1. Water resources must be centralised and then transferred to Global elites after floating shares. This will happen when a financial crisis created by banks who go on lending Councils on wastefull non-core expenditure. Agent Jacinda and sub-agent Mahuta are focussing on creating a centralised agency, even if it is weaker than the original proposal, so that a foundation is first made. They will then add more walls to stop scruitiny and finally the assets will be privatised. This has already happened to waste collection and disposal. Watewr resources are several times critical than waste disposal. So lot of money can be made and the public can be fully blackmailed. Mahuta will be getting a neo-nazi tatoo if she succeeds centralising and controlloing water resources.

    • Nailed it. Centralise everything and when it goes bankrupt sell it to private ‘stakeholders’ (eg owned by the ‘elite’ 1%) and then they control EVERYTHING including US. Reminds me of Roger Douglas sell off of state assets, and other PMs sell offs. Next minute we will own nothing and be happy – except we won’t.

      Think about the last 30 years. What have we lost as a country? Power, communications, forestry, reading, banks, state housing etc etc. this has been planned for a long time.

      Mahuta and her fellow Maori caucus aren’t interested in helping anyone but themselves. They use other Maori who live in poverty for the statistics and sympathy to line theirs and their families pockets and then DO NOTHING to help other Maori. Meanwhile turning this country into a racist apartheid regime that is doomed to fail. What does it all come down to? GREED.

  2. Four fundamentals, one being public ownership……ummm we caught the Government out lying about the ownership of assets. Another being good governance, would that be as demonstrated by the current government representatives? Nanaia and I have totally opposing views on good governance. I don’t buy any of the proposed recommendations to improve workability. Three waters is a big NO

  3. Nanaia Mahuta has proven herself to be entirely untrustworthy, any ‘recommendations’ coming from her should be treated with the utmost suspicion. That’s a definite NO from me.

  4. Why this government is focussing on 3-waters issue when there are burning issues that remain unresolved. These are:
    High inflation and unafforable grocery prices for millions.
    Housing crisis and prices are still unaffordable to incomes
    Excessive credit supply and fooling kiwis to buy houses with low equity and put them in negative equity with inflation
    Collapsing health system and declining health outcomes for every age group and demography.
    Quality of education and standards are falling at every level and NZ ranking at the international stage is getting lower and lower.
    Excess profiteering at supermarkets, hardware and huge concentration/shift of wealth in the last few years

    Labour government is diverting us from real issues to flimsy ones such as gender ideology, woke shytte on everything. fart tax etc.

    National has no solution other than more and more migration to fight inflation. FFS, inflation is closely related to productivity and not migration which largely goes to service sector; taxi driving, pizza delivery, courier deloivery, supermarket grocery stacking, cleaning etc. The per capita GDP due to migration is below average and yet national spokesperson Nicola Willis is wanting more migration.
    https://www.odt.co.nz/business/food-prices-soar-14-year-high
    All these WEF agenets and subagents will not solve any real issues. Depressing indeed.

  5. This is the closing of the commons. Taking away a public resource and handing it over to a small group of elites to enrich themselves.

    This is neo feudalism where we are going to be divided into three groups chiefs, commoners and slaves.

    That the lending ratio on assets will go from 2.5 times to 3.5 times tells you that the new zealand public are about to be fleeced by bankers as well.

    This is a deal made in hell for the people and after this will come the control of councils with the ability to tax then you will just become landless resource poor slaves.

    Ironic that a Labour government is reintroducing what their ancestors sought to abolish.

    • Exactly- they want to rate us out of our homes.

      This govt, it’s leaders and their minions are Nazis and Facists.

      Nazi means National Socialists. NOT right wing at all.

    • Can’t help but agree, the Closing of the Commons pure and simple. Part and parcel of the bigger agenda driven by the so-called elite. But we will be happy and cared for in spite of our intransigence… ????

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