3 Waters Privatisation now real threat under ACT/National Government


This is very, very, very damaging…

New Three Waters bill fails to provide final privatisation safeguard

Government assurances that Three Waters assets would be protected from privatisation by a parliamentary super-majority have been foiled by political wrangling.

…National and ACT have refused to give the legislation a super-majority meaning that they could privatise NZs entire water system with a simple 51% majority.

Take a look at the ACT alternative budget and see how far ACT want to go by amputating 5 Ministry’s, the Human Rights Commission and cutting $7billion from welfare.

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Privatising water is well inside the idealogical parameters of an ACT/National Government.

Hilariously the entire co-governance of water was a forced solution after Key privatised 49% of our hydro power assets and forced the issue of ownership to be debated in the first place!

Since the radicalisation of Rogernomics, both Labour and National have suppressed the idealogical extremes of their parties pushing NZ ever closer to the political middle and economic centrism. The financial pressures caused by a unique universal experience like the pandemic alongside intense radicalisation by Facebook hate algorithms has polarised the electorate like never before and the right of National and left of Labour are going to produce a Government very radical and very opposite to the other.

Most elections in NZ have been a brand fight between Coke and Pepsi. The upcoming National/ACT vs Labour/Green/MP Government is actual extreme idealogical difference and that in of itself in a landscape of frenetic aggression will accelerate tensions.

The real economic pressure from inflation has yet to peak.

All the triggers are loaded now, and Privatisation of water is a very heavy finger.


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  1. Or you could put Co-governance (including 3 waters) to the vote at the next election. If it is such a good idea then the majority will vote for it – right?

    • Delays would risk a very strained relationship between Maori and the rest of New Zealand.

      This is the best offer Maori has ever put forward for managing resources on behalf of Maori anyone would be filling to give it all up.

  2. So handing control to Iwi, who are apparently corporate entities, with no guarantee that they can’t extract payment isn’t privatisation?

  3. It was pointed out from the start that privatization was what would result from 3 waters, Labour lied and said it wouldn’t. They could change the law to safeguard it but haven’t.

    So we will be forced to choose non democracy and Maori co governance everywhere and paying Maori to use water, or pay a private enterprise.

    This situation is absolutely 100% on Labours pushing of 3 waters against the wishes of the electorate, whatever the history of other people privatizing.
    Look at Labours privatizing of public land for houses today.
    Labour are unelectable.

    • If Labour had a shred of democratic integrity they would have campaigned on the He Puapua & associated agendas to get a mandate.

      I predict that from next election there will be at least 12 years of National/ACT Govt

      • Not a shred their record speaks for itself.
        Agendas that were not revealed at election time.
        But they still have many on this site fooled.

      • Robbie they might not get three terms after selling our waters assets. The way I see they have just said they would not support legislation that prevents requiring 75% of the house to approve it.

    • KCC you have said of Labour “They could change the law to safeguard it but haven’t”

      Read the article

      Doesn’t Andrew Geddis say that in order to have a 75% requirement to sell/privatise in place, you need 75% of the house to agree to that provision going into the law in the first place?

      I think your statement is incorrect. If Labour could just change it Martyn would not be blaming National.

    • “It was pointed out from the start that privatization was what would result from 3 waters”. Exactly what I said a number of times on this blog.

      The status quo where water assets are owned by (is it over a 100?) local council democracies is a big task for a French Water conglomerate to take over – herding cats comes to mind. National would have a hard time bringing all these council owned entities into a bigger entity because there are lots of National people voted onto and earning good coin via these small councils and they don’t want their lunch cut even for right wing idealogy.

      If the water assets which were paid for by the people (renters and ratepayers) are given away to Maori then the Maori model comes into play. Get some overseas companies to come in and run the show like they do with fisheries quota.

      If the Nationalact get into power 3 Waters will have just 4 large desirable water entities to sell off to their mates financed by their ANZ mate.

      There is a bunch of water bureaucrats and treasury officials both pushing this agenda and lining up for the higher salaries that come with running larger entities doing exactly the same thing the current water management do already. Labour have been used as useful idiots in putting 3 waters in place. Three waters is essentially the Roger Douglas strategy of State Owned Enterprise where govt pays the cost of change and the business is then ready for Private Ownership at a fire sale price. However this time Maori are consulted. Will it be 50% of the Labour maori caucus that end up on Water Entity and Multi-national water company boards? Or will it be 75%?

      The main point about all this is that the assets already owned by the people are being stolen from them. The 3 Waters Entities or the French Water Companies will borrow to finance it all at great mates high interest rates and then the consumer will pay for their original asset again plus interest.

      In all the debates about 3 Waters did any ad agency, politician, water bureaucrat, banker, treasury official or iwi gravy trainer ever say the price of water to the consumer would fall? If not then where is the neo-liberal efficiency?

      Three Waters is simply a scheme to steal the peoples assets and then hold them over a barrel with high water prices.

    • I’ve hardly ever read such litany of lies in one post on social media anywhere in the world.

      I’d correct you, but clearly you are determined to play a part in creating/framing/disseminating a false narrative, so are beyond appeal to reason and or things like facts.

  4. Well, this is a case of you get what you deserve.
    Labour tried to ram this shit through and now National and ACT will weaponise the hatred of 3 waters to pursue privatisation.
    What could possibly go wrong, right?

  5. Labour will bring in the structure(3 waters) and the Nats,/Act will sell it off. It will end the same way as the sale of NZ Rail did.

  6. How come NZers sat back like dummies when John sold the hydro assets that we all owned he also sold share in the Wgtn airport and a power company and he ran down NZ Post selling millions of dollars of land and assets.

    • I could be wrong Covid is pa, but John Key said be had a mandate because it was apparently included in their election campaign. There was a subsequent citizens referendum on asset sales, which told him 70% of 1.3million votes cast, were against, but he did it anyway.

    • Some of us didn’t sit back like dummies, some of us hated every minute of Key’s government. Hocking off (or giving away) assets that belong to us all is wrong, no matter who is doing it.

  7. Three Waters isn’t about water, it’s about control.
    As I keep writing here, we’re in grave danger of losing sovereignty of our AO/NZ.

    • beg to differ cb it’s about ‘mates’ of whatever shade making bundle from selling national assets….check how well that’s worked for the UK, foreign firms turning (the non too clean) rivers into open sewers

    • Yeah na – there is only one alternative to public investment in Three Waters and that is councils unable to afford it selling assets to global corporates (or even worse selling cheap to a local corporate who on-sells to foreigners and its shareholders pocket the money).

  8. Ironically, those councils and their suppoers that oppose 3W reform, would hand over water assets to multinationals via leasing/franchise/contract arrangements. Like Papakura did in the 1990’s.

  9. Cool. Instead of three waters can we just put a water bottling levy on, honour existing licences but no longer permit any water bottling or exportation licences and have a referendum banning the privatization of water infrastructure/assets, name and shame/go on the rampage at the farmers who pollute and praise the farmers
    who don’t and have a binding referendum on whether to ban future privatization of water and water infrastructure (banning water privatization will absolutely win if framed in this way)

    Or have an upper house that’s in charge of environmental infrastructure.

    Neither of these require putting our hopes in neoliberal corporate iwi being able to stop neoliberal corporate national/act from selling 49% of our water assets.

    Three waters sounds like a future private /public partnership with mum and dad investors from the CCP waiting to happen.

    • That NACT will not agree to requirement to a 75% parliament vote for selling water assets says it all.

      A referendum on banning sale of water assets is a good idea, but Labour won’t propose one because they have no interest in selling anything themselves and because they don’t stop National selling assets – as per the 50% of the power companies.

  10. I think using the spectre of privatisation is a red herring as it’s not a practical option. Who would want or be able to make a profit from such a money sink liability? The best option in my opinion is to fund the existing regional councils to improve and maintain the infrastructure which is arguably within their existing remit.

    • ask the french companies that own the UKs water right now about how much they’re losing in their ‘money sink’ fred

      yes adequate public infrastructure funding is favourite but not gonna happen under any of the shades of neo-lib we have.

  11. Labour need to lead the debate on this issue. They are letting the right/Nats lead the debate, then they follow up behind with “well what do you suggest we do, you are not promising a viable alternative!”.
    While I agree broadly with what is being proposed, Labour have never made a strong case for change which is why local government is in revolt, and why the Right bash Maori to scare off the average voter away from the co-governance model.

  12. After pissing down with rain here for two weeks, Taranaki has been given the award for sunniest province. The award is as random as weather itself and almost as random as our city council who also got an award, for worst performance of local government NZ in record keeping (Stuff, n.d.). Deloitte opened up the council’s books and let the sun shine in and found NPDC to be failing to use the basics of information systems, including an inability to show who was employed by council, awarding work to contractors without tender or paperwork for years on end (a mates bro system) and sending the council CEO on a $30k leadership weekend – presumably so he could learn how to do his job. This is a council who declares 3 Waters outrageous privatisation but has no qualms exploiting water for commercial gain (citing conservation) by suddenly installing water meters on every house after millennia of ecological guardianship by local Maori and after two hundred years of industrialised colonial settlement. Did I mention the local catchment has been deluged by two weeks of pissing down rain? As an unemployed local with a degree in information this is a face slap on multiple levels.

    Stuff. (n.d.). Retrieved from

  13. Here’s the sad fuck up: water infrastructure needs to be fixed, but Labour can’t even focus on that. Instead they let the Maori caucus turn it into a clusterfuck which has nothing to do with fixing in the infrastructure. If Labour want to win the next election they need to to take charge.

  14. They would love to take charge but it’s beyond their capability.
    After 5 years of this incompetent Ardern Government we have gone backwards,
    Beyond me how anybody thinks they are ok?

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