3 Waters is about drains! How did drains become an existential race threat?


Ultimately 3 Waters is all about drains!

We lose 20% of all water from the source to your tap, that’s a drainage issue!

How the Christ did drains become an existential race war?

Chippy needs to refocus 3 Waters on drains and promote more work to be done by small drain layer companies by ensuring 15% of drain supplies go to independent/small Drain companies.

Currently the large players choke off the small companies and the work doesn’t get done!

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Pushing this line takes the political heat out of the issue.

The Flooding in Auckland gives us a glimpse of our climate warming future, we see what poor drainage has done and how urgent it is to get on with the work.

Allow the politicians to squabble over who owns it, but let’s get the work done now on the drains!

Pushing for reform in the market where smaller players can engage to do the work is that start.


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  1. McMansions and lack of permeable materials is the big problem.

    Council do not stick to the planning rules they they have as environment court will overturn anything that gets an engineering report to say that everything is honky dory which you just pay someone to write. If an engineering report is not true or misleading nobody cares – there is no prosecution.

    In NZ you can just fake being an engineer but being employed by multiple NZ engineering firms https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/300587541/unqualified-engineer-who-lied-on-cv-guilty-of-38-fraud-charges-fined-for-ethics-breach

    or be qualified but not know what you are doing and work at council, https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/new-zealand/2022/04/christchurch-engineer-deregistered-after-designing-flawed-shopping-precinct.html.

    Even fake the tertiary institutions themselves. https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/fraud-investigation-underway-student-enrolments-tertiary-education-provider

    Pretty much individuals and companies can force whatever monstrosity and intensive development on the community in NZ – environment court will allow it – cultural reports are then same as engineering reports – there is always someone who says they speak for all iwi who signs it all off and ticks that box.

    Environment court is not evidence based. They ‘share’ the findings so that the opponent just has to get some hack/s to disagree and it goes through. If they are lying or misleading no censure or the consent is not revoked when lies are told.

    This is why we have so many deaths related to bad engineering and resource consenting in NZ. Pike River and CTV building which are NZ’s biggest losses of human lives but the main lesson about being vigilant about resource consenting and revoke consents that are lied about or have fake/incompetent engineers, never happened.

  2. If someone could explain logically how having to go to the local Iwi for “consent” to fix and add drainage, wastewater and sewerage infrastructure will:
    a). Make it cheaper
    b). speed up the process
    c). increase the level of actual water-related infrastructure

    Then myself and the general public are all ears. Sadly nobody can articulate that into a coherent response.

    • Perhaps you could explain where in any of the three Waters proposals the word “co-governance” is used. Because I think thats where you seem to be a little confused about “Iwi” granting consents. Iwi don’t grant consents.

      I eagerly await your coherent and articulate response.

      • Iwi might not grant consents in the same way that councils and bodies such as Watercare grant consents but they do have the power to make unchallengeable declarations about local bodies of water, and at the uppermost national level the Maori Advisory Group can also issue unchallengeable water declarations which the four water entities must abide by. In the light of, for example, Tuku Morgan’s recent attempt to get money from Auckland for Waikato water, what’s the likelihood that these declarations will be a gateway for facilitating payments of some kind?

        The absence of the word ‘co-governance’ from the legislation does not mean the absence of co-governance in some form, anymore than not calling our country The People’s Democratic Republic of New Zealand means an absence of democracy here.

    • Because it will achieve none of those outcomes, it follows that those are not the reasons for the 3 Waters policy.

    • I can’t find anywhere that it says one needs to go to iwi for consent in the three waters document?

      Can you recite the page its on please.

      • You do know the concept of having things in brackets means…..

        If 50% of your governance is controlled by local iwi you would need their consent.

    • Yes , when Tuki Morgan makes a proclamation ( ie it is now a true fact) that it is not sustainable for Auckland to take more than 300 million litres of water per day from Waikato river, when the facts of the matter is that the Tongariroa power scheme increased the flow of the Waikato river by 2500 million litres per day and the water is extracted just a few km before it enters the sea.

  3. Wayne Brown is a good example of how many engineers can think and act.

    John Key is a good example of how accountants can think and act.

    Barry Hart is a good example of how lawyers can think and act.

    Gabriel Makhlouf is a good example of how economists can think and act.

    Unfortunately giving all these careers an almost god like status and across all companies around the world, has create a lack of diversity of thinking in many businesses and advisors and god like thinking that they are always right and infallible. Nature can be controlled by money just like companies.

    The counter to this, is just as bad. The woke, who think that pronouns and racism is the major world problem and changes to speech and language is what is important. Woke gives everyone has a rank, not based on money, class or profession (like the above) but race and identity – similar to the Chinese Cultural Revolution. Pointing out the truth is labeled racist, punishment and denouncing others is important.

    People who are bad are now all white supremacists (yes even the US black police officers that beat the black man to death has been labelled white supremacists by woke, rather than police brutality).

    Governments filled with woke can’t get anything done as the entire language has to be changed and safe spaces for the triggered, mean that debate is not allowed to happen. Woke get their info on line and from other zealous, ignorant woke who they appoint, who are the biggest disinformation agents out there. For those who are not screamingly middle class, they can’t get their heads around the new doctrums.

    Unfortunately doesn’t not bode well for the flooding, the main droughts and disasters are occurring while the woke and right wingers with different techniques seem powerless to get anything done.

    Just like Waka Kotahi’s new 85 Comms people who took the long weekend off during the disaster, the advisors are completely incapable of giving good advice, – while their bosses in government and councils are fiddling while Rome burns.

    • You make a lot of sense in your blog. I cannot verify this but on the Radio a few days ago it was said that all the consultants hired by the Labour Government by various departments have never been reviewed for their value and what they brought to the debate was of worth. Many reports once received have never seen the light of day . This may be the same for when National are in power but at a time of financial stress we need to know where the money goes.

    • ” (insert choice target’s name here)… is a good example of how …(insert some well known incompetence here)”

      Actually, they’re not good examples, they’re egregious aberrations and that’s why people recognise them and not the other 99.9 % of decent people in such professions and positions.

      Poor show, saveNZ

  4. “How the Christ did drains become an existential race war?”
    Martyn, because, by the looks of it, the drains are a Trojan horse for ‘power and ownership’. Not really about engineering and fixing. The maths doesn’t seem to add up for most people. 16% of the population – based on one race – have been given proportionally more say than the other 84%. Based on nothing other who they are not what they know about managing water resources. It doesn’t seem right, even YOU think it is. Also more importantly, please name all the officials and bureaucrats that will be running the 4 entities. You can’t because its’ all clandestine. All we know is that Tuku Morgan already has the CEO job for one entity. Who else applied? What was the process of appointment? What qualification in water management does Morgan have other than being Mahuta’s mate? What are all their salaries (paid by taxpayers so we have a right to know)? How much of the budget goes into ‘management’ of those entities as opposed to actual work? Why have millions been committed to expensive office premises and staff appointments without actually finalizing the whole plan? So is it a done deal before it was a done deal? What is the process of getting one of those contracts? Do you have to have ‘maori’ connections to get the work? Why was the ‘entrenchment’ done underhand, instead of open and honest? In a few years time when the schedule is waaaaay behind, will those ‘appointed entities’ be penalized for ‘non-delivery’ – like a roading or civic contractor? Who is responsible for ‘fuckups’ down the line other than a faceless entity with a complex 0800 system? Will directors be held directly responsible like in normal business? Is co-governance a just ‘giving power’ without the responsibilities that go with power, because that’s how it looks.
    Answer all that and we could be all good to go. The whole thing is just a cluster-fuck of planning, due diligence, and communication.

  5. Because the water issue has been made into a race issue.
    the quesiton is ‘why’.
    And the answer is, because our rulers left or right of the last few decades have not build, consented, and planned for the needs of today and we are not to talk but that failure, and the emergency of today caused by that inactivity.
    So it is easier to brand all that have issues with the ‘explanations’ brought forth so far as racists, bigots, pakeha/anti maori even maori, oppressor, supremacists, rightwing monger, evangelic nutcase, or my personal favorite coloniser.
    Divide and conquer, and peasant, it might pay to learn how to swim.

  6. If 3 Waters (actually 5 Waters) is simply about drains, then how will giving Maori 50% control of drainage lead to any improvement? How does the one follow from the other? I think it is clear that the contentious “it’s just about drains” argument is designed to distract from what is the completely uncontentious outcome, which is 50% control of water being given to Maori.

  7. Wayne Brown is NOT a good example of how many engineers can think and act. He is from the old school rip shit and bust. That old school didnt acknowledge the RMA or iwi interests. They didnt respect landownership or nature – they just tried to control nature – unfortunately they didnt allow for the higher rainfall intensities of today. The 1 in100 years design periods of those times are now 1 in 50 years events today.
    Engineers can design culverts, stopbanks, drains, bridges, etc to handle any anticipated rain nintensity.

  8. Some council’s have a very good drainage system and others don’t. It needs to be a case by case basis, not a blanket centralized approach to all towns.

    • Sorry Marco. This Labour we are talking about…Central Control Big Govt. When you vote Labour into govt that’s what you get.

  9. ‘Ultimately 3 Waters is all about drains!’ is about as credible as claims from 50 years ago that Bantustans were all about separate development by independent states. Yeah, right.

    Apart from Frank’s and saveNZ’s well-founded points, 3Waters won’t address the duopoly problem identified in your one link, which implies nothing whatsoever about any possible benefits of or need for iwi control; and given the details of the legislation, it will be iwi near-monopoly control – forget equal and accountable democratic co-governance.

  10. You make a lot of sense in your blog. I cannot verify this but on the Radio a few days ago it was said that all the consultants hired by the Labour Government by various departments have never been reviewed for their value and what they brought to the debate was of worth. Many reports once received have never seen the light of day . This may be the same for when National are in power but at a time of financial stress we need to know where the money goes.

  11. “Allow the politicians to squabble over who owns it.”

    That’s a guaranteed way to ensure everything gets sold off to the highest bidder! Enjoy your extremely high water bills.

  12. The 3 Waters concept kept changing from being an opt out if you want to a total grab of the assets belonging to councils and having them controlled by a government body with input from unelected Maori. The whole thing was being pushed through by a
    government spokesperson whom was Maori and who played the race card if any disputes surfaced.

  13. No it’s not about drains. If it was, then why are Iwi allowed to make blanket Mana o te Wai declarations that bind the water entities? The following scenario is certain to eventuate: an entity makes an asset plan, starts building stuff (including drains) to that plan, then an Iwi makes a Mana o te Wai declaration that invalidates that plan.
    If you are going to invest many millions of $ into 5 waters, why in hell would you have this stupid mechanism that is guaranteed to shoot your investment in the foot?
    That’s so fucking stupid, it beggars belief.
    Also, again, if it was all about drains (and water supply isn’t drains btw), then why are the authorities allowing experienced water inspectors to be let go, and trying to hire much cheaper novices into these roles, while also demanding that they have larger catchment areas to inspect? This will result in inexperienced inspectors being spread way to thin, and hence doing a poor job. If 5 waters actually cared about the water part, this wouldn’t be happening.

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