Newsletter One: 3 Waters
1. Why is the government trying to rush through far-reaching legislation to control our water without public consultation?
2. In March 2021 it announced its 3 Waters (freshwater, stormwater and wastewater) Project to take away the Councils' assets and control of water and give these to a new government body which provides 50% of voting rights and power of veto over all decisions on water to Maori.
3. Government has advised Councils relevant information will be made available in August and has offered an "incentive" of $2.5 billion - with strings attached - to encourage Councils to give their decision by September on whether to opt in or out of the proposal. This does not allow Councils time to seek expert advice or consult their rate payers. Why the indecent haste?
4. Westland Mayor Bruce Smith argues Councils should have time to conduct referenda to ascertain the views of their ratepayers, and seek informed advice on the proposal. He explains the facts clearly on youtube.com/watch?v=UtF06mO5ItM .
5. Because the government has a clear majority, it can now pass any laws it pleases without a mandate from voters. Democratic rights of New Zealanders are under threat and it may be difficult for these changes to be reversed. 16.7 % of the population who call themselves Maori will decide issues affecting the other 83.3 %.
6. Previous government attempts to reform the supply of electricity and petrol have failed dismally to reduce prices for consumers. Why would they be any more successful in managing our water?
7. Misleading TV and Radio ads are promising better water under the government takeover. It seems the recent Hawkes Bay water problems may have been due to the Ministry of Health’s failure of its obligation to monitor water quality.
8. On current available information, water rates will increase significantly under the proposed government takeover, and such centralization may be less responsive to local needs. Few government departments are accountable or efficient
You are watchdogs for our democracy. Please express your views to:
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org; Facebook and Instagram - @haveyoursaynz