3 Waters is now spinning out of control – Cabinet Reshuffle is urgently required

When you are being owned by Chris Bishop memes, you are politically destroyed

Three Waters: Newshub understands Nanaia Mahuta didn’t tell Labour caucus of 60 pct entrenchment

But Newshub understands Mahuta did not let the Labour caucus know the Greens were proposing a 60 percent entrenchment threshold.

The back channel rumour mill over what the fuck happened over the 3 Waters Retrenchment have been circulating for days and it was only a matter of time before it was leaked to the mainstream media.

Heads must roll in a Cabinet Reshuffle that has to be announced sooner than later.

The wonks have gone into the 3 Waters legislation and identified that even the financing side of this could lead to water privatisation and lurched into trying to enforce a 60% entrenchment against privatisation as if that would save it, (it’s the co-governance feature everyone is ultimately having to rely on in that Māori would never ever ever ever ever ever ever privatise the water).

So this 60% retrenchment ‘solution’ is put forward as the great safeguard and I’m all for it because it’s pure symbolism right? We could pass a law saying that from now on it requires 80% while all MPs are hopping, and it wouldn’t mean jack shit to the very next 51% majority that can unpick that law and throw it out.

But sure, force the Nats and ACT to actively unpick it and throw it aside before they begin their privatisation! Safeguard water, don’t make it easy for the right to privatise it!

And don’t start me on all the promises National are now making that they would never privatise the water, ask Aucklanders how they feel getting played by the Boomer King as he starts his privatisation rummage sale!

TDB Recommends NewzEngine.com

ACTs first attempted amendment for 3 Waters was a Public-Private-Partnership plan for Christ’s sakes, let’s not pretend they don’t love privatising our shit!

So sure, go ahead, actually make the argument and fucking stand up and defend it as defending our water sovereignty!

But that’s not what happened did it?

They didn’t do that because Cabinet didn’t know it was in the legislation did they?

They didn’t have the aforementioned argument ready, they didn’t have a PR campaign to back up the argument and they had no idea it was in the law.

So this wasn’t planned because there was no bloody plan.

The insinuation that they did it on purpose and tried to slip it through is a smear on many members of Cabinet and that is disgraceful!

What the extremists on the Right are attempting to claim is that this was a purposeful attempt to manipulate and deceive the electorate when the evidence simply doesn’t stack up that way!

3 Water was already a difficult piece of legislation, allowing a narrative  on mainstream media channels to claim the Government purposely deceived voters is incendiary bluster that fuels extremism…

With the Prime Minister refusing to go into how it happened, it leaves her and the Government wide open to accusations that this was a deliberate move, that they wanted this entrenchment, they got found out, and the mistake was not a policy mistake, but a political one. 

…that shit needs to stop right now.

There has to be clear cut evidence that the Cabinet deliberately and purposefully deceived the country by sneaking through legislation before anyone should be making accusations as serious as Jenna Lynch has on Newshub.

Do ANY of you honestly, hand on heart, believe that David Parker would have voted for this?

Come on.

Yes there was a broad discussion about entrenchment at Cabinet, but that conversation in no way shape or form could be construed as a discussion of and support for entrenchment!

They voted for it without knowing it was in it because they weren’t told!

I am an enormous fan of Nanaia Mahuta but you can not include controversial untested ideas into controversial legislation, not tell your colleagues it’s in there and then point to an unrelated conversation about entrenchment and pretend that was a heads up and agreement.

The Cabinet didn’t know because the Cabinet weren’t told. Allowing the perception that they knew and were trying to sneak it through is too damaging.

The Prime Minister needs to have a Cabinet reshuffle announcement on Friday.


Increasingly having independent opinion in a mainstream media environment which mostly echo one another has become more important than ever, so if you value having an independent voice – please donate here.

If you can’t contribute but want to help, please always feel free to share our blogs on social media


  1. The fact is three water is a public/private partnership and privatization of water assets.

    Giving 50% of water assets to private corporations like Ngai Tahu who are corporate dairy dairy farmers is privatization. Three waters is a neoliberal solution to a problem caused by neoliberalism. A left wing solution would have been to think big. Hint.

    It was clear since January that three waters was a kamikaze policy that a sensible government would have sent to the shredder when the govt realized they couldn’t even explain it themselves let alone persuade people to support it.

    Instead of pushing for this policy to be dropped the left have gotten extremely tribal over this issue and it’s proponents can’t even explain it.

    It’s a ridiculous policy. Noone voted for it.

    Mahuta should have gone long ago not just as local govt minister but you cannot have a minister of foreign affairs who is afraid of flying.

    Honestly, bin the fucking thing, reshuffle and announce something big like universal dental to retake the narrative and distract from the utter fuck up of wasting an entire historic majority term on this shit. It’s rare af for the left to even get a majority combined let alone a sole majority and to waste an entire term on constitutional fuckery is unforgivable.

    They need to announce Universal dental now. Throw mahuta under the bus and announce she’s retiring from politics.

    Mahuta needs to go. She’s

  2. The Prime Minister needs a reset, emergency style’s reset.This legislation has every chance of breaking Labour! She needs to stop and think, is it worth it?

    • Of course it is xray. Our water infrastructure is antique and councils have shown they are useless custodians of it. It’s 100% worth it. Go 3 waters! Woop woop

      • No it’s not – the bulk of NZ’s population based around Auckland has a well run water system. Wellington run by the Greens and Labour has a terrible water supply.

        • BS Yeti- The Auckland CBD and the wider leafy suburbs have 120 year old combined stormwater and sewerage mains. Who is going to pay for the replacement of 1000’s km of these mains in the city, Remuera, Parnell, Ponsonby, Grey Lynn, Epsom, Mt Eden, etc – It will be the West and south Auckland ratepayers.
          This is just another looney right-wing beat-up promoted by the Natz dirty politics brigade, the tory times herald, tory talk ZB and the tory MSM.
          Voters aren’t interested in 3 waters and will be forgotten in 3 months time.
          Typical do nothing useless Tory negativity.

          • Dunedin had the first major urban water system, and it continues to this day (with some updates).

            Privatization was an issue even back then [from http://www.engineeringnz.org/programmes/heritage/heritage-records/ross-creek-reservoir/ ]: “Construction and opening The Dunedin Water Works Company engaged engineer Ralph Donkin to draw up plans for the water supply. Donkin favoured Ross Creek and submitted his plan in January 1864. David Proudfoot and Company won the tender and began work in September 1865.

            The scheme was opened by the Mayor of Dunedin in December 1867.

            Local council takes over
            The Dunedin Town Board, now a City Council, was uncomfortable with the ability of the Dunedin Water Works Company to set its own water rates. The Council made offers to buy the Company in 1868 and 1872, but the Company held firm. Dunedin was expanding and the Ross Creek scheme was not able to supply households in the new upper hillside suburbs. In 1874 the City Council succeeded in buying the Company and took responsibility for further developing the scheme.”

            It remains a good system, run well for more than a century and a half, and does not need its management taken over by an elsewhere-entity. See: https://www.dunedin.govt.nz/services/water-supply/history#:~:text=Dunedin's%20water%20supply%20system%20was,developed%20and%20completed%20in%201956.

      • You might be being sarcastic?

        There’s nothing wrong with Auckland’s water, or water system.
        And there a $2B waste water tunnel being done now to keep it ahead of demand.

  3. Labour needs to stop relying on consultants who act like the Music Man trying to sell them a monorail and start doing their own work on these big things.

  4. So happy to see all of this happening , having read the legislation months ago and knowing the financing doesn’t stack up ( generations of debt to private lenders). That the co-governance provision is privatisation based on race , Te Mana o Te Wai statements a recipe for for administrative failure on a grand scale and the secrecy with which Mahuta has operated at all times an FU from her and her elitist iwiocracy. If she thinks she can continue to shit on our democracy she is very much mistaken. Fuck em! I hope Labour disintegrates completely!

    • Yes Shona, there seems to be widespread ignorance of the finance side of Three Waters, typified by Nikorima’s “Tory” rant above.

      The intention is to fund it with loans approaching $200 thousand million on the open debt market at a debt to profit ratio of 9 or 10 times EBITD. So that implies an annual nett (ex. interest etc.) profit of up to $20 billion dollars – more than half of that (depending on prevailing rates) will disappear in interest payments alone!. And that’s not even including maintenance, general running costs or any debt repayment or depreciation of assets. Some perspective – the total spend by all local councils for all general public services in 2020 was $4.3 billion.

      While there is no planned security (i.e. mortgage) over the assets the international financiers will be assured that the debt will be guaranteed by the NZ people via “their” government in the event of a default. Lovely!

      So where’s all this money going to come from? There’s only one place it can come from – Kiwi households and businesses.
      Here’s a good summary of the debt issue: https://cranmer.substack.com/p/three-waters-and-the-debt-that-will

        • Shona No one seems to notice or care because they are pre-occupied with day-to-day living, a cost of living crisis, parents working three or four jobs, toddlers dumped in and out of day care, the dynamics of which result from the divide and rule practices which cement power in the hands of a small number of the ‘haves.’ For a parent pricing the cost of a fatty sausage, the time or ability to evaluate politicians is an unknown luxury and the politicians themselves are largely self serving dumbo ratbags.

    • Ha yes, exactly the image in my mind when all the news and effort and time the government was spending on giving 16 year olds the vote….

      The ship is sinking and these clowns are spending their time an energy on rearranging the deck chairs…

  5. I think that the cabinet did know but let the clause go through knowing that it would deflect criticism and debate about the rest of the bill. An excellent strategy and one that worked beyond expectation.

  6. There has to be clear cut evidence that the Cabinet deliberately and purposefully deceived the country before anyone should be making accusations as serious as Jenna Lynch has on Newshub?

    No there doesn’t. This is 2022. Making claims, insinuations, implications, hints is part of the how the game is played. If it’s not done directly, creating the impression with headlines will do fine. They will deliver the message effectively.

  7. And here is potentially the excuse for a snap election in January. Iwicorp are pushing hard here as are the moderates such as Parker and Hipkins who see the rest of their careers in the opposition wilderness. In the middle are a couple of Possums in headlights in Jacinda Trump and Grant Pence.

  8. ” Heads must roll in a Cabinet Reshuffle that has to be announced sooner than later ”

    All avoidable had they distanced themselves from their arrogance and consulted , communicated , debated ..Christ they have had nine years and five years in government and it has come to this.

    They have fallen into a trap of their own making…..

    ” And don’t start me on all the promises National are now making that they would never privatise the water, ask Aucklanders how they feel getting played by the Boomer King as he starts his privatisation rummage sale! ”

    They are out of their depth and incompetent and I include the lady from Morrinsville who worked in the local takeaways.

    You cannot attempt legislative change on a resource like water without having done your due diligence and been prepared to sell the changes.

    This is another harsh lesson for LINO in the realities of government which they are proving day by day they are not fit for office.


  9. 1. Take country from indigenous population and impoverish them.
    2. Grudgingly ‘return’ small bits of the country to poverty stricken indigenous population hundreds of years later.
    3. Impoverished indigenous population sells assets and exchanges them for near worthless, rapidly depreciating pieces of paper created by same government that stole real assets.
    4. After one generation indigenous population returns to poverty as their pieces of paper have either been frittered away on food, clothing and rent or ravaged by the con that is government created hyper inflation.
    5. Asset holding rich class milks new asset (water) for all it is worth from indigenous and non indigenous population alike.

    • Not quite really.

      Did you know Ngai Tahu is the biggest business in the South Island?
      The private (non-public) organisation owns the most land in the South Island,
      And is the biggest landlord as well.

      Also Google Tainui business and assets… A multi billion dollar organisation.

      The whinging comments from the likes of you and Willie Jackson are not credible.
      He’s on $250k a year, owns 3 or 4 houses / rentals, doesn’t have to pay for anything, and still has the cheek to whinge about being hard done by because he was colonised.

      Isn’t about time Ngai Tahu and Tainui relinquished their charitable organisation status and paid their fair share?

    • John S Please stop this oculist? from lighting and displaying the subject so clearly. Give me back my old glasses, preferably the ones with tinted lenses, they’re the ones I’m used to. I feel frightened on seeing the unvarnished doors opening to these new vistas.

  10. One point, one question.

    A cabinet reshuffle will achieve zero. Labour’s talent pool is as shallow as tennis court puddle. Look at the number of portfolios Chippy has, if you want something close to evidence. Deck chairs, rearranging and Titanic spring to mind.

    Can someone please tell me how this purchase of water infrastructure will work?
    I haven’t been able to find anything which clearly states if the Govt is paying councils in cold hard $$$ which will be deposited into their accounts?
    Or is it an accounting movement on the balance sheets which simply shifts ownership and value?

  11. It’s pretty simple. Labour has been completely incompetent with potentially the most important legislation in recent history, or it’s corrupt. Take your pick.

  12. Water is essential, it is our lifeblood. We know that we have droughts ahead of us with climate change and floods that will sweep away food crops etc. We know that business will utilise our needed water for their own ends just as they have utilised our housing stock from under our noses, and will take it to make artificial dairy stuff that replaces our water-heavy cow farming. And our politicians are a bunch of tits.

    And the cry that Jesus gave from the Cross came to mind. Here is Psalm 232 where it is all written down.
    22 My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?
    2 O my God, I cry in the day time, but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent.

    3 But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.
    4 Our fathers trusted in thee: they trusted, and thou didst deliver them.
    5 They cried unto thee, and were delivered: they trusted in thee, and were not confounded.
    6 But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people.

    7 All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying,
    8 He trusted on the Lord that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him.
    9 But thou art he that took me out of the womb: thou didst make me hope when I was upon my mother’s breasts.
    10 I was cast upon thee from the womb: thou art my God from my mother’s belly.
    11 Be not far from me; for trouble is near; for there is none to help.

    Deliver us please from privatisation and this evil water law and restore to us good governance by people with probity.

      • Brilliant piece of legislation and when people realise the benefit, Labour are a shoe in to win the next election.
        Thank you Mahuta!

  13. RNZ-Radio NZ – Entrenchment law: What you need to know
    9:08 pm on 8 December 2022

    The Three Waters Bill passed its third vote in Parliament today and is now in the final steps before becoming law, after a brief dip into discussions about entrenchment law. Photo: RNZ / Richard Tindiller

    Explainer – Labour’s Three Waters legislation was passed in Parliament today, although without the controversial entrenchment provision against privatisation which had quietly entered an amendment to the bill during the committee stages.

    Part of the debate surrounding this particular entrenchment provision revolves around how the clause came to be included, which MPs knew it was there, and how many understood its significance.
    But entrenched legislation is an obscure legal and political topic not typically heard about in New Zealand’s current affairs – so what is it and why is it different to other laws passed by parliament?

    Victoria University School of Law’s Dr Grant Morris talked to Afternoons about what constitutional entrenchment is, and said most people outside of the legal and political fields could be forgiven for not having ever heard of it.
    Entrenched laws are more difficult to vote into place, and more difficult to change than ordinary laws.

    History with Dr Grant Morris duration 10′ :38″ from Afternoons with Jesse Mulligan

    Normally laws are passed on a 51 percent majority.
    “Entrenchment means that a particular law is passed by a super majority [of votes in parliament] and can only be modified later on by that super majority – in New Zealand that figure is 75 percent to entrench the law and 75 percent later to modify the law,” Morris said.
    “This coincides with the idea that you’re trying to lock something in.”

    Both the concept of trying to lock a law in so it cannot be changed easily in the future, and the rarity of using it sets it apart, Morris said. It is something to be entered into carefully.
    “This is what a lot of the controversy was around Three Waters entrenchment – the government and Green Party seemed to be wanting to lock this in so it was harder to change. But they come up against this idea of parliamentary supremacy – that you shouldn’t be able to bind a future Parliament, so ultimately a new parliament can go back enough steps to repeal any entrenchment because it is ultimately supreme,” Morris said.

    “So, in a New Zealand context, entrenchment is really hard to get to stick, and we don’t have a lot of it.”
    In the case of the Three Waters legislation, discussions about this legislation between different parties earlier in the year considered including an entrenchment clause on anti-privatisation with a 75 percent margin to be changed, which was widely unsupported. But the later version that appeared in the committee stages and led to a furore when discovered, before being struck out of the final bill was unusual in that it only required a 60 percent margin.

    Morris said an extra detail about entrenched law is that both single and double entrenchment are possible. “Double-entrenchment is when you entrench the clause setting up the entrenchment, and single entrenchment is just the clause itself is entrenched”.
    Where does entrenched law fit in?

    To understand the significance we have to look at where it sits in the (ongoing) formation of New Zealand’s legal and political systems.
    “There’s really two concepts we often talk of in this space … the idea of supreme law and entrenchment. They are different concepts but often associated together,” Morris said.
    “Supreme law is what we think of when we think of the United States with its constitution which sits above all other law – the supreme law of the land and the Supreme Court interprets it … so there’s that idea of supreme law – and all other laws are subject to it.

    “In New Zealand we have an unwritten constitution… and therefore we don’t have that US-style approach [with supreme law and a Supreme Court], but we do have a small amount of entrenched law, and it’s in the electoral space – in the constitutional space.”
    So in New Zealand, entrenched laws set down some of the rules about elections and how often they are held.

    When has entrenched law come up before?
    Morris said the way the Three Waters entrenchment controversy had unfolded hinted that “most [MPs] were unaware … of the constitutional significance and historical context”.
    “I include MPs on both sides of the house,” he said.

    But there are two significant points where the topic had previously arisen on the political landscape in New Zealand, Morris said.
    “It really comes into our system in a modern sense with the [now updated] Electoral Act 1956. This is when National is in power, Sydney Holland is the prime minister, and he manages to get cross-party support to entrench aspects of our electoral law, really important ones like minimum voting age, term of Parliament, the way in which we vote by secret voting.
    “They decided as a group, as a Parliament, that these were important enough to entrench them at 75 percent of parliamentary votes to change or 50 percent in a public referendum.”
    The Electoral Act 1956 was updated over time, and now we talk about the Electoral Act 1993, but “those entrenched provisions remain, and that’s a successor to that initial act”, Morris said.

    “There’s a lot of moral power in entrenchment, and that’s where a lot of the impact comes from. Ultimately a new Parliament is supreme, so it can change laws that have been previously made.
    “But those provisions of that 1956 Electoral Act now have a moral power, the idea that they’ve lasted so long being entrenched that it would be a very brave government to say ‘okay, we’re not going to have things like the term in Parliament or voting age entrenched any more, we’ll just downgrade them’. So, I think there’s a real moral power now to those originally entrenched laws.”

    The other instance where entrenchment was widely discussed was in the formation of the Bill of Rights Act which passed in 1990 under a Labour government, where there was discussion about making it both supreme law and entrenched law.
    “There was a big backlash to both of those ideas, particularly to the supreme law one, because a lot of submitters and members of the public said: ‘Well that will allow our judiciary to play a key role, like the US Supreme Court does in America, to be able to interpret that, and we have a judiciary which shouldn’t have that role and is unelected, etc, etc’. And many submitters didn’t like the idea of entrenchment as well.

    “So what we ended up with is the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act, which is ultimately ordinary law, not particularly special in terms of the power it has over other law, but it’s not supreme law and it’s not entrenched.”
    Though Morris said the Bill of Rights Act did emerge from that debate with some interesting provisions that can give it “quite a lot of power depending on how it’s interpreted”.

    Debate needed
    Discussions about uses for, or new approaches to, entrenched law and supreme law in New Zealand would be an interesting topic, Morris said, but the focus had been somewhat overshadowed by the context the topic had arisen in.

    “We have an unwritten constitution, it changes over time. Maybe this is a time that we need to change the idea of entrenchment and how we see it. I think that’s a debate that can be had,” he said.
    “I think what happened in this instance is, because it was pushed through late at night, under urgency, and no-one seemed to know what was going on, then that’s not the way we should have the debate.
    “If we are going to do things differently in a constitution, then we should do so, but we should do so with an open debate and discussions from both side.”

  14. democracy and the whole MMP system went out the window when Labour forced this on us with zero support of any other party and then has the audacity to introduce another couple of bills to go with what they just passed.
    And we thought National was bad for doing this.

Comments are closed.