I am proud of Labour’s initiative on 3 waters and Co-Goverance

Chris Trotter has an intellect and insight I truly respect but his article on 29 November ‘Has Labour Become a Co-Governance Party?’  is strong on imagery and historical sound bites but light on 3 Waters.
Firstly, 3 Waters is not just about co-governance. It is about rescuing the New Zealand people from our local bodies inability to look after, or afford to look after our water infrastructure. People have died and others damaged health from poor quality water. Some areas just can’t afford the rates to upgrade sewage systems. 
The current local body practice of borrowing against the asset value of the water infrastructure just to run local bodies and their pet business friendly projects is just setting up a rates nightmare into the future. They aren’t spending the borrowings just on waters. These borrowings risk our water assets being sold in the future to overseas entities to pay for debts local bodies can’t sustain. And those foreign entities will charge through the nose for an essential service like water and sewerage. 
3 waters is a vital, well thought out in its principles, vision of how to look after New Zealanders. Real people helped and everyone will benefit. The assets are simply transferred from a local level to a National/regional level in terms of accountability. Nothing is stolen as local communities continue to have full use of the infrastructure. And they have as much democratic input as currently. 
This is why 3 waters is being done. 
Co-Governance is at the very least a simple recognition of the private property rights clearly written into the Treaty. The english wrote the treaty and they were clearly thinking of it as giving Maori private property rights, and all the rights of British subjects to have those protected with an extension to include even communally owned property, which includes waters. Maori owned the water just like some businesses do today. Tribes have property rights over waters, at the least. 
Equal representation on regional boards is a simply recognition of those property rights, and Treaty rights. If the boards start disadvantaging people there would be a media response on the practical event and what was happening. There would be accountability through a national response. 
Chris heralds electoral doom for Labour, and this may be true but on the point of 3 Waters it would be because of rampant misinformation and hysteria. 
Where is the threat to democracy? Nobody’s vote is removed. Because if 3 waters which protects private property rights in an equal partnership of Maori and other New Zealanders is somehow anti-democratic then where are all the other articles about private property rights destroying democracy. I’m sorry Chris but your article was too light on detail about what the problem is. It just promotes electoral fear. 
Note: Current Labour like Helen Clark did with the Foreshore and Seabed, is not standing up to rebut the crazy ideas. It looks weak, as if you aren’t sure of the rightness of your position. It makes the other side look right. It lets the alternative narrative and facts fill the gap. Labour should be leading in this issue from the top at every press conference to rebut every misleading story or feature. And repeat the benefits of three waters. 


  1. “And they have as much democratic input as currently.”

    This feels true, given ‘none’ is about the level of input we have now anyway.

  2. I’d be prouder if they laid out a comprehensive business plan with tight costing how to fix the pipes, as opposed to a political plan. But as always, ideology ignores all that. See TVNZ merger.

  3. It’s the unelected other half of the co-governance aspect of 3 Waters that is of concern. Who are these people? Who hires them? Who vets them? How did we get rid of them if they underperform, are inept, or plain bad? Who do they answer to? Why is this even being considered as acceptable?

    Although we live in a “democracy” the truth is we get very little say and it’s only election day that we get to hold the feet of those who govern us to the fire. And they know it!

    That’s the concern. These unelected untouchable people who hold such sway over the people can do what they want and there is nothing we can do about it. There are plenty of examples of how bad it gets with the unelected model. And relying on the media to protect us is no substitute to the vote!

    Sort that aspect out and I think few would have an issue with 3 Waters.

    • Well articulated XRAY .I and many like me see the creep of this government taking more and more control of our lives with little opportunity for us to have imput other than at the ballot box. Water hospitals roads are all on the block .It is not just those on the right are concerned.

    • Reply to Xray at 6.58am. Hi, you are overworrying how Maori will be elected. In some ways it’s not your business. There are lots of similar examples. e.g. We don’t have a say over who gets elected to boards of private companies. A representative of a company can go onto an advisory board and we don’t have a vote on that. Maori are doing nothing different than our democracy currently gives to private companies that own private property. But this is waters and there will be public scrutiny of actions, and of outcomes. If there are incompetent people then issues will be publicised. MR Underpants for example.

          • Richard S. Water is the global currency of the future and some cunning persons know this, even if we poor consumers don’t.

            • We know, things are going to get very messy in countries that rely on water sourced outside their borders or are currently depleted non-replenishing, fossil groundwater (ours replenishes but we are working hard to pollute it). Get ready to start paying for your water or do without.

      • Hi Stephen

        I’ve lived with Aucklands Council Controlled Organisations (CCO’s) in action, Auckland Transport being the main culprit and we can’t unelected them either and when they do what they want, and they do, it’s bad. Best we can do is boot the mayor out but it’s not a guarantee much will change and its not exactly democracy!

        Watercare so far have been okay but I do not want any further degradation of the control public utilities to unelected untouchable individuals from who knows where!

        And if you are referring to Tuku, he’s got a John Wayne swagger riding into town to stamp his claim with 3 Waters and that concerns me greatly!

      • It is most certainly our business when water is an essential commodity which, unlike eg electricity, we have no choice about which provider we can use.

        We pay for this service via rates or otherwise, and we can out- vote city councillors and regional councillors if their performance or management displeases us.

        Further, we can write to councils, table correspondence to be read at meetings, attend some council committee meetings, make representations to council committee meetings, phone mayors, request meetings with mayors and attend their clinics, all of which I and others have done, over the years.

        Disagreeing with you does not make me racist.

        • Rates don’t pay for the 3 water works. Old right wing mayors and Councilors campaign on keeping rates low so can’t pay for essential works – kickcan down the road. An example, exclusive Auckland inner suburbs have combined sewer/stormwater that create overflow of sewer during heavy rains. After main interceptor is completed where is Council getting funds to separate the lateral mains. Methinks the ratepayers of south and west Auckland will pay for it. I will fully support the 3 waters legislation.

  4. Mr Minto, so you agree with what most voters (and councils) disagree on, no surprises there.
    Are you keen on a referendum on the 2 issues?
    There is no ‘benefits’ if 17% of the population has total veto rights and the majority of the input/policy decisions.
    What other country would accept those odds?

    • Your 17% of the population having more say is incorrect, as many Maori are disenfranchised from iwi or tribal affiliation. Not that it really matters since tribes have a hereditary & hierarchical leadership system, so that the whole thing would be ruled by less than 1% (and probably primarily for their benefit), much like everything else.

      • Is it democratic that less than 17% of the people run the country?
        Did anyone vote for that?
        Did anyone know about this agenda?

        • Reply to Bob the first. at 1.26pm. Hi, your comment is LOL. But it is sad that you wrote it as if it is serious. There is still a full democracy in place, elections will happen. The boards are still accountable to supply and deal with water. And if you ever bothered to talk to any Maori you would find they are people, and they have different opinions and views. So Maori aren’t a monolith trying to dominate New Zealand. At the very least they are New Zealanders with property rights. Trying talking to some.

    • Reply to Im right at 7.04am. Hi, you are applying a different standard to Maori than you apply to Pakeha. If a private company owns an asset like an oil well. You sir have no say in how that profit is made or where that oil is sold. You have no say over how well they run that business. But you don’t question that private property right ever. But Maori have a property right and you’re all in to have a say and tell them what to do. This is your logic. (and it comes across as unintended racism)
      But the actual fact is the boards are just administrative entities that must still run these assets for the benefit of all the people in their regions. So there is a public accountability, and it will be heard if that is not happening. Much like what happens now, e.g. buses in wellington are run by private companies. We complain about cancelled services etc. No different. No loss of sovereignty.

      • Soooo JM, I’m ‘racist’ for my post!
        Why doesn’t that surprise me. Willie Jackson et Al ALL use the ‘racist’ brush on anyone who questions or indeed complains about the way the labour govt is dividing NZ.
        QUESTION: Where was all this in their 2020 campaigning, or in their election manifesto?
        ANSWER: it was kept away from NZ voters on purpose!
        and ironically will be their downfall as it will lose them the election and any policy/law in place by end of next year will be dismantled.

        • I’m right. Abolishing the Commissioner for Children and trying to abolish freedom of speech have already lined this govt up as losers.

      • The difference is that oil and buses are not necessary for human life. People hate having water in private ownership outside of the control of ordinary men and woman coming together as a community to construct and publicly own their towns water supply. Why would they willingly transfer their water assets to a private international water company or a private maori water corporation and lose control of the most crtical resource for their human life.

      • “You sir have no say in how that profit is made or where that oil is sold”
        Only if you assuming you ignore all the rules, regulations and general social pressure that says the Govt and the people do have some influence in private business.

        As we see near daily the Govt and society commonly dictate to business who has little option by to comply or take the risk of being screamed at or in these days something far worse. Sure the Govt mates get a cruzie ride but the vast majority of us don’t have the privilege.

  5. You may well be right @ JM. Management of water does need a new vision, a set of sound principles to protect the resource for future use of all New Zealanders. That much I agree with. I also acknowledge the recognition of the private property rights clearly written into the Treaty. That is who we are as a people, or should be, a positive legacy to our colonial past.

    But there’s an ancient story worth recalling that speaks metaphorically of a strategy to trick unsuspecting folk of the city to accept what appears to be well intended. Isn’t that what people are cautious of? More so given the lack of transparency.

  6. So Trotter is light on detail? And what about your piece, Mr. Minto? If Three/Five Waters is about water infrastructure, then why does the iwiocracy need to be in charge? And what do “Te Mana o te Wai” statements have to do with improving water infrastructure?

    And what’s a Marxist doing defending a handover of power to unelected tribal elites?

    • Reply to Pope Punctilious at 7.27am. Hi, Maori must an equal say because they have property rights in water, they are owners. And those property rights were written into the Treaty of Waitangi by the English. Who so clearly gave Maori property rights. That is why your ‘iwiocracy’ is involved – but they are not in charge. They are just working in partnership.
      Note: I’m not a Marxist and power is not being handed over to unelected tribal elites (they are not the outright majority). How tribal elites get their position will vary and just like private companies we don’t get to decide how or who is elected by them.If you don’t like ‘iwiocracy’ they why aren’t you taking on private companies and the lack of transparency in them.

      • Maybe you haven’t been paying close enough attention. Or maybe you just don’t care to notice. “Co-governance” is a euphemism, because the iwiocracy get to veto anything they don’t like. But Five Waters doesn’t give control to “Maaori” – it gives control to the iwiocracy. BTW, can you show me where water is mentioned in the Treaty of Waitangi?

        Nice try at whataboutism with your reference to private companies. What have private companies got to do with the present conversation? We can talk about power companies some other time – how about a comparison of the % of working class household income spent on electricity now vs 1980? I tried to persuade a Marxist academic to undertake such a comparison, but he was too busy writing books about global socialist utopias.

  7. Then you obviously don’t understand its purpose.
    It’s a $485b+ firesale of water services with 35 year contracts. Everything else being said is misdirection, suckers!

    Whoever controls the infrastructure controls the $$!

    • It’s misdirection also divide and conquer. This seems designed to divide māori and pākeha, iwi and iwi, hapu and hapu and ordinary māori against tribal leadership. In such an environment powerful special interests and corporates will inevitably dominant.

    • And for context, how this all makes sense and where its going.

      Here is the architect, designer of the legislation for all of this.

      Paul Beverley, of Buddle Findlay, specialises in the RMA, co-governance design in Treaty settlement processes, and advising local authorities on Treaty and Māori law issues. According to the Buddle Findlay website, he has extensive experience collaborating and negotiating with Māori and advising on Māori law issues. His particular specialty is designing and negotiating co-governance, co-management and relationship frameworks between the Crown, local government and Māori.

      Anne Gibson, Property Editor of the New Zealand Herald, in an article on Beverley published 13 May 2017, “….in the past few years, the refrain sounding loudest in his life is redress for tangata whenua. That means addressing the wrongs of the past, helping Maori groups negotiate, then draft Treaty of Waitangi deeds of settlement as one of the Crown team representing the Justice Ministry’s Office of Treaty Settlements”.

      Further insight into the views of Beverley can be found in his involvement as a participant in the Constitutional and Legal experts’ hui held by the government to discuss Crown-Maori Relations (20 March 2018). Notes produced by the participants include the following points:

      There is a need to move beyond a consultation mind set to real partnership and engagement.
      The Treaty is clear that there are two peoples in a partnership, with roles and responsibilities.
      A concrete agenda/work programme should include the following: constitutional position of the Treaty; local government status; capacity and capability building – central and local government; institutional/systemic discrimination; water; shared outcomes; putting partnership into practice (e.g., the Department of Conservation has some useful approaches – local level solutions in particular).
      Māori representation on local authorities – if moving towards Māori wards then other changes also need to be put in place to support them and for substantive long-term change and community understanding. They will fail to make effective change on their own.
      A clear conceptual framework over the top is required, that defines local government in NZ and its roles and responsibilities in the Treaty/Māori space.

      The Government needs a plan to educate communities, including exemplars of how people are positively relating, how the Crown and Māori are relating, the benefits for communities and the nation, and that it is not racist for the government to prioritise results for Māori.
      Proprietary rights need to be defined with reference to two systems of law. There is a need to understand tikanga as law, rights and constitutionally.

      Undertake a stocktake by running a Treaty ruler over legislation, regulation and policies.
      Decolonisation required to allow a Māori lens to become first nature for government.

      And again, for clues as to what Beverley thinks, see his paper entitled ‘A stronger voice for Māori in natural resource governance and management’, which he presented to the NZ Planning Institute conference 2015 – ‘Back to the Future’.

      Paul Beverley claims that Māori have a deep and innate relationship with natural resources, saying that significant advances are being made to enable the expression of this relationship. In his paper he focussed on one of these advances – the arrangements delivered through Treaty of Waitangi settlements, giving the following four examples of Treaty settlement arrangements:

      the tūpuna maunga arrangements in the Tāmaki Collective settlement;
      the Waikato River settlement;
      the Tūhoe – Te Urewera settlement; and
      the Whanganui River settlement.
      Paul Beverley acted for Auckland Council in the negotiations leading to the new Tupuna Maunga Authority. According to Beverley the Tāmaki Collective settlement reflects a significant reconnection between the Iwi of the Tāmaki Collective and their tūpuna maunga, which includes a detailed set of arrangements that provide a prominent voice for those Iwi in the future governance and management of, and planning for, those tūpuna maunga. Beverley was quoted in the NZ Herald 13 May 2017, saying:

      “Those maunga are the embodiment of the iwi ancestors so the law now recognises that through the vesting of those volcanic cones back in the iwi, and the Tupuna Maunga (co-governance) Authority. It’s a really important point in the journey.”

      Paul Beverley acted for the Crown on the Waikato River claim, which resulted in the Waikato-Tainui Raupatu Claims (Waikato River) Settlement Act 2010 and other legislation, recognising the river as a tupuna or ancestor with mana, and in turn representing the mauri or life force of the tribe. The Waikato River arrangements provide for the establishment of the Waikato River Authority, a co-governance authority comprising five members appointed by the river iwi and five members appointed by the Crown/local authorities. The Waikato River Authority is responsible for the vision and strategy for the Waikato River. The Vision and Strategy is a planning document with very powerful effect, in fact it is incorporated directly into the Waikato regional policy statement, and it overrides an RMA national policy statement in the event of conflict. Decision-makers under a wide range of legislation are required to consider and give legal effect to the vision and strategy.

      Beverley is also active in spreading the co-governance net wider.

      He is one of the three authors of the Hauraki Gulf Forum Governance Review and Recommendations, presented to the HGF June 2016, which recommended the 50/50 co-governance model, with greater powers.

      He was also, from 2015, the ‘Independent’ Chair of the Sea Change Tai Timu Tai Pari (Hauraki Gulf Marine Spatial Plan) stakeholder working group. The Sea Change Plan also strongly pushes the ‘co-governance with iwi’ arrangement.

      So go and knock yourselves out.

  8. Anna Lorke labour MP stated it is not 3 or 5 waters. It is all water.
    No discussion, no select committee, 80000 submissions discarded without their contents being recorded, constitutional coup without even discussing it with the party leaders
    This has passed the co-governance bus stop and is rapidly heading to Maori control

    • It’s not “Maaori” control. It’s control by the unelected iwiocracy – a tiny percentage of Maaori. Ordinary plebs (Maaori or non-Maaori) don’t have any say in the matter.

    • Reply to Tribal Scot at 7.35am. I’m surprised at how willing you are to show how scared and afraid you are. ‘Maori control”? There are still elections. Maori have 7 Maori seats out of 120 (approx). This is about the administration of water – ‘coup without even discussing it with the party leaders’. Party leaders have had plenty to say. The issue is being fully discussed like here. There are always different ways to discuss in a democracy. Except where are your facts?

      • You say, “There are always different ways to discuss in a democracy.” Sure there are different ways to discuss but then the decision is put to a vote. One man, one vote. Not seeing democracy in action here. Its not water for electricity or the so called right to pollute that people are concerned about it is their loss of control of their drinking water and the drinking water assets they have paid for and built up over 150 years.

        • Joseph It’s every drop of water in ponds, parks, lochs, botanical gardens, council reserve land, and utterly preposterous for Maori to claim a special affinity when man’s relationship with water predates their arriving upon these shores by eons, and well documented in Greek mythology, celebrated in stupendous orchestral music, and a basis for time-honoured poetry and drama, although Hone Tuwhare did write a nice poem about rain.

          These people are trying to obliterate other people’s European cultural heritage, and one of my Maori relatives said that they make half it up as they go along.

  9. “Co-Governance is at the very least a simple recognition of the private property rights clearly written into the Treaty.” and “Maori owned the water just like some businesses do today. Tribes have property rights over waters, at the least.”
    I agree with that however

    “It is about rescuing the New Zealand people from our local bodies inability to look after, or afford to look after our water infrastructure.”
    That’s why the select committee recommended 3/5 waters extends to coastal waters?

    “3 waters is a vital, well thought out in its principles, vision of how to look after New Zealanders. Real people helped and everyone will benefit.”
    Now who is light on detail and I’d add, heavy on wishful thinking. The only people I’m sure will benefit are a few well heeled individuals who will be granted carte balance/veto powers with mana o te wai statements. Presumably we can trust to altruism because no one would use such powers to leverage special interests right?
    As it is so “well thought out” how does one party with veto power constitute an equal partnership, what happens when MOTW statements come into conflict with each other, how do you prevent ‘capture’ of individuals responsible for MOTW by corporate interests and lobbying?

    I’m sure you will gloss over, to paraphrase as ‘operational details better addressed in submissions to the select committee’. Would that be the select committee that appears to have ignored the general sentiment of roughly 88,000 submissions?

    “These borrowings risk our water assets being sold in the future to overseas entities to pay for debts local bodies can’t sustain.”
    And 3 Waters does not prevent this, consolidation to fewer entities facilitates it.
    If it does not privatise resources it will privatise profits and nothing stops those profits flowing overseas with an opportunity to clip the ticket on the way out.

    “Labour should be leading in this issue from the top at every press conference to rebut every misleading story or feature. And repeat the benefits of three waters.”
    What does it say that Labour, with a media savvy leader who is an excellent communicator, combined with all those new PR people have chosen not to front-foot this?

    • And it wont be any NZ company that ‘wins’ any of the major contracts either.
      They dont have the financial clout to carry the liabilities that go with it. It will all be contracted to multinationals like Blackrock Inc and managed (other) hedge funds & vulture capitalists with trillion dollar balance sheets.
      NZ companies will be the subcontractors and get the crumbs.

    • Reply to Tui at 7.47am, Hi, the only problem with your talk about well heeled people is that this is what is happening now with local body control. So everything you say about going to overseas interests applies equally with the current local body control. Local control has failed. Half the complaints could be from people worried they might lose a contract to milk the local council – but are they going to say that?
      And what about the legislation to prevent private sale.
      Your comments are ignoring the current people benefiting and ‘welfare-ing’ off council contracts. You fear a future but ignore the current failure.

      • In other words, Stephen, you’re saying that if current systems are not good enough, there’s no merit in being concerned about future systems not being good enough either. That looks pretty defeatist to me.

      • Stephen+Minto you don’t seem to be listening to anything anyone is saying…

        Consider this, humans have been in NZ for 800-900 years. We broke off from Gondwanaland 85 million years ago and became a seperate land. Who owned the water for the other 84.99 years? Surely its arrogance in the extreme to say Maori own the water?

  10. Yes this is about the cost to repair and keep up to date infrastructure it has nothing to do with 3/5 waters which is an issue based on ethnicity.
    The money has to come from somewhere which is rates and/or general taxation.
    Dressing it up as 3/5 waters is dishonest and by my reckoning will add cost.

  11. Meh. No one can “control” nor have “power” over water. Infrastructure, yes. But our drinking water is controlled by planet Earth and macro energies beyond our control. Good eh? 🙂

    • Sinic. Nice one. Thanks for a wry and gentle smile – needed. By the way, are you racist, or homophobic or anything like that ? ( Rhetorical question. )

  12. Someone sane writing about 3 waters – thank you. Excellent article – let’s hope this type of article has an impact on the ‘white genocide’ and ‘threat to democracy’ hysteria being peddled by the right and some closer to home.

    • If you think ‘white genocide’ and ‘threat to democracy’ is all that is wrong with 3 Waters then you havent read enough on 3 Waters. There are so many things wrong with it, any sane person would run away screaming. It’s debt provisions are so appalling that it is either going to fail or if not fail, then increase the cost of water many times over. If it does fail, it is nicely parcelled for sale and don’t even go there with the entrenchment provisions.

      Seriously dude, you need to go read beyond the rhetoric and any race assumptions that you have and see that if our water needs fixing this is absolutely not the way to fix it. i am not saying the status quo is perfect but I am saying there are a handful of other options, all of them far less risky than what is going on here.

    • You would hope so but it appears that most people are happy to believe the scare campaign and no amount of evidence would change their mind. Obviously the Co governance aspect is a major problem as people fear a group they are not part off having some power over them.

  13. “Firstly, 3 Waters is not just about co-governance” Yet your first point was about co-governance.

    If it’s not about co-governance, remove co-governance from the legislation? Why the left want to die on this hill astounds me. Is Labour truly beholden to its Maori caucus, or are you just sick of being in power? NACT will repeal this anyway!

    • Agreed and its hysterical and scary. People who don’t have anything real to complain about so they have to latch onto something and make a mountain out of a mole hill. Reminds me of Brexit in the UK – take an underlying current of hatred and make it big enough to destroy your countries economic future.

    • No ,the cornerstone of democracy is accountability , co governance has no checks and balances for inept, corrupt , cronyism, nepotism and transparency. At the top should be govt , then cultural and religion beneath that , otherwise you end up with Iran and Afghanistan supreme leaders

      • Of course RRD but they don’t want the checks and balance they want carte blanche.
        Enjoyed your comments.

      • Sounds like the Key’s National Party coalition with the Maori party, carte blanche.

  14. I live in Upper Hutt and as far as I know our water services are fine. I am aware of a persistent leak on our street that Wellington Water have repaired half a dozen times- but its not affecting our water quality or supply, or waste and storm water. If there are councils that can’t afford to bring their water services up to scratch then I’m sure central government could help them with some funding. There’s no need to bring co governance into it. I’m still not sure how Maori have a greater affinity to water than Europeans. We all need water to live.

    • I have never had a problem with the quality of drinking water in Auckland.

      A couple of years ago there was Y2K like beat up over a supposed drought induced water shortage. However it turned out a cogoverned local body was denying Auckland more water from the Waikato river. To my way of thinking water is a public good and all members of society ought to have equal rights to it at pretty much equal cost without any private entities extracting a profit.

  15. Good piece by Stephen Minto. NZ Labour needs to sell the useful reforms they have done more often, and promote 3 Waters in a positive way.

    The only people that will “steal the water” are private capital!

  16. Good Post @ SM.
    There are two small matters that neither Chris Trotter nor yourself debated which, certainly in this writer, causes no small amount of concern.
    And they are that we have no government. And we have no politics. We people, we relatively normal, living breathing, working, eating, sleeping, fucking people have nothing. Our country and our politics belongs to money, not us, and we only have the money we can borrow against the false values the four foreign owned banks will lend us and even that noose is tightening around our necks according to this smiling asassin in a frock with the $20K smile. She can be Chuckles the Killer Klown because she’s on at least $ix figure$ plu$ enititlement$ and perk$. Perhaps more…? Who would really know. We will never know how much Ms Gleaming Guffaw makes. We should remember, it’s our money she banks then exports. The now nine multi billionaires and the four foreign owned banks sucking out billions of our dollars in net profits makes three or four or five waters debates look like a nervous conversation within a circle of old Aunts at a funeral with deep seated grudges.
    22 percent drop in house prices will be a ‘relief’ for people, ANZ economist says
    Three Waters, it should be considered, is a red herring, wild goose chase through the woods to distract village #A while village #B next door rolls in and steals all their shit while village # A’s out there barking up the wrong tree in the wrong forest for all the wrong reasons.
    We have no politics. We have no governance. We DO have neoliberalism. We DO have capitalist fascism. We’re all in an extremely vulnerable position both locally and globally.
    We’re a tiny gaslighted group of idiots on a paradise of land miles away from nuts in boats with guns and we’re worried about insignificant annoyances that threaten our fragile egos. Yep. We’re fucked.

  17. John says three waters is not just about co- governance but it mainly is. The labour government didn’t have to go about addressing the lack of finance for local water infrastructure in this way, it just chose to. If government wanted to ensure that local authorities had the money to repair water and sewerage infrastructure it could have just created a consolidated fund that local councils would contribute to and apply to, for funding. The national tax payer would pay for the rest as it will anyway through any scheme the government comes up with. What Iv’e said is simplistic but I came up with that thought in ten seconds so all those highly paid consultants could think up something similar with bells on. No, it’s being done this way so Maori end up equal partners in running it. I have no problem with the government suggesting we do it this way but all hope of meaningful discussion and openness to the real agenda is gone. That is why the public is not on board. That is why many Labour voters won’t vote for them at the next election.

  18. Having been an indoctrinated to believe civil servants are there for the good of all I can understand your attitude to them getting more power add Maori input to this and you have a dream team in the eyes of most of the left. When you see the mess that civil servants have placed the health and education sector I have no faith in them controlling my water .At the moment if I have a problem I can ring the council if I get no joy I can contact my councillor if all else fails I can go in person to the council chambers. If I need to contact Wellington I can expect a few hours wait on the phone and talk to someone who will make promises and who will not give me this name and nothing will get done .
    As I say this will hopefully be fixed at the next election .

  19. You first write :
    “If the boards start disadvantaging people there would be a media response on the practical event and what was happening. There would be accountability through a national response.”

    And then go on to ask :
    “Where is the threat to democracy?”

    Do you not see the irony of that question?

    You are literally asking the entire nation to rely on media response rather than agreeing to have them democratically appointed!

    This interpretation of the treaty is just wrong!

    An argument about the treaty is becoming like an argument with an American gun nut!

    The treaty didn’t factor in immigrants!
    Immigrants from the past 100 years run this country & pay a much bigger share of taxes than Maori yet they are out of all governance discussion, why? Just because a few English people signed a piece of paper 180 years ago!!

    As your messiah would say “I reject your logic!”

  20. I guess one thing to come out of all this stuff is that at last the woke, the left and the white supremacists all have found some common ground they all believe in: that people should be divided up and judged along racial lines and that a persons race is critical to how they see the world and their place in it 🙂

    who would’ve thought huh

  21. ” Note: Current Labour like Helen Clark did with the Foreshore and Seabed, is not standing up to rebut the crazy ideas. It looks weak, as if you aren’t sure of the rightness of your position. It makes the other side look right. It lets the alternative narrative and facts fill the gap. Labour should be leading in this issue from the top at every press conference to rebut every misleading story or feature. And repeat the benefits of three waters ”

    Well this lot aren’t clever or intelligent and certainly don’t have the intellectual and political rigor of Cullen or Clark to deal with the three waters.

    A MMP majority they could have done so much and been in office for a long time if only that had taken the time to bring everyone together about the future of such an important resource.

    They have thrown away a golden opportunity to lead on this or at least led the anti privatisation argument.

  22. Question. Will 3 Waters result in higher water bills for the ordinary bloke and ordinary sheila whether they be maori or pakeha?

    Question. Will 3 Waters result in the privatisation of water infrastructure?

    I’m willing to bet the answer is yes and yes. S.Minto would you be willing to bet that the answer is no and no?

    • Joseph. Well when they separated the power lines companies we were told, I think by Max Bradford, that it would result in cheaper electricity for the ordinary bloke and sheila. In fact some rich people have gotten much richer, councils and rate payers, incredibly, contribute to the maintenance of the power lines which the off-shore rich boys profit from, and the ordinary bloke and his ageing pensioner parents can no longer afford to keep their homes warm, evidenced by the fact that government – aka the taxpayer- forks up for pathetic keep-warm payments in winter for some persons. Nothing ever results in cheaper.

      Will they fork up water subsidies too, in face of the health impacts which mushroom when families have to pay for the water which they use ? We can’t even go down to the river to bathe any more, and tap into artesian water or dig your own well, and these water greedies will do you for that too. It’s a ruthless scenario, not just haphazard.

  23. You are very desperate to stay in labour goods book aren’t you? Everyone is wrong, but the few people that decide for the rest of us. Democracy is just such a drag.

  24. And the door is just ajar,as those enterprising farm fence and small inlet communities with the aid of corporate leaning political parties,free market,our water rights,the same wankers mainly milkers,polluted our rivers,still for most not swimable for our kids and grandchildren.

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