If 3 Waters is all about drains – let’s look at drains!

Minister, I’m not looking for socialism, just basic regulated capitalism!

If we want to drag 3 Waters away from co-governance and want to focus on drains. let’s focus on drains then!

In a recent column, Max Rashbrooke highlighted the horror of NZs under regulated market

The bad news is that, to investigate 200,000-300,000 terrible rentals, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) has employed a frontline inspectorate numbering … 37. Each inspector will have to check somewhere between 5000 and 8000 rentals.

…there is only 37 inspectors of rental properties for 300 000 terrible rentals?

Similar poorly funded regulation is apparent in the 82 labour inspectorates who are supposed to police hundreds of thousands of migrant worker exploitations!

Time and time and time again in New Zealand we see an old boy matrix of vested interests who occupy market dominance and act like a monopoly, duopoly or oligopoly raking in vast wealth while leaving the local small and medium sized operators outside the cosy relationships!

Up and down NZ, small and medium enterprises are unable to compete because of the lack of basic regulation in the market!

We’ve seen it with the Supermarket duopoly, the medicinal cannabis oligopoly, the Gib Board monopoly – each time under regulated and poorly regulated capitalism continues to screw over us the consumers at a time of a cost of living crisis!  

TDB Recommends NewzEngine.com

Frustration inside the drainage industry has reached boiling point recently with anti competitive practices and crony capitalism that would make your average South American Drug Cartels blush.

Local drainage industry sources tell of being blocked and unable to open accounts with large suppliers and when they can, they won’t give them anywhere near market rates.

A recent meeting with a Plastics manufacturer to get access to the plastics/PE market by local drainage contractors was a classic example of the problems to access fair markets.

It took months to get the meeting and was then told in no uncertain terms that they were protecting their relationships with Fletchers – Humes and Hynds.

The pricing that was then offered was designed to keep the local contractors uncompetitive – the pricing offered was not even close to market rates.

Local contractors try to buy Pipe off of another local supplier but their biggest customer is Hynds so the pricing they offer local contractors is more expensive – so again anti-competitive pricings designed to side-line small to medium drainage companies.

One industry source said,

“They have clearly done their homework to ensure that it is just too hard to get enough of the right products and compete against the existing system.”

“To be able to compete in the civil market where the serious dollars are, with the volumes required and the back up systems in place to offer the right service levels we must have fair access to NZ Suppliers.”

“However this access is being actively blocked as set out above.The other main problem from this lack of access to Civil Pipe is that it holds small / medium contractors out of the subdivisional market as we are unable to offer a package deal such as that proffered by Hynds and Humes leaving us feeding on the crumbs –  while the Cartel potentially overcharges the public and then rakes in a fortune.”

Comrades, I’m not looking for socialism, just basic regulated capitalism!

There needs to be an urgent investigation into the drainage industry to ascertain if market dominance is loading up costs to housing, local council and State Housing!

In this case we need to drain the swamp to see who is dominating the drainage market!

This could be adding enormous costs to housing and no none seems to have looked into it at all because it’s all under the ground!

After the Gib crisis: Megan Woods forms new critical materials taskforce

Building and Construction Minister Megan Woods has announced that a new critical materials taskforce is being formed, partly in response to the Gib crisis.

The taskforce will include sector leaders from the Government’s plasterboard investigation group, established in June.

But it will also incorporate experts covering smaller operations, design, consenting, products and procurement matters.

Woods said the focus would be on trying to maximise productivity and cushioning businesses from supply chain risks, giving guidance, data and information to help builders, designers and business owners.

Great work Minister Woods, now do drainage!

Pricing distortions in the Drainage Wholesale market are being caused by an effective duopoly which is curing enormous costs for everyone building.

The Government could help by insisting 15-20% of Drainage Supplies to Kāinaga Ora be independent drainage suppliers.

If 3 Waters its all about drainage, the industry requires urgent investigation.


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. – 37 inspectors of rental properties
    – 82 labour inspectorates
    – probably next to no radio interference worker bees
    – bugger all worker bee immigration staff trying to cope with the unintended quinsequinces of bad (and often copied from other jurisdiction’s) policies
    – etc., etc., etc.

    And then how many comms and spin meister staff and line managers.

    It’s working as designed by the failed zoologist Mr Fixit of Novapay fame and his broman Coleman, and it’s still full of managerialists that require a kick up the arse to do what they (and much less of them) should be doing. And shunting them sideways where they can wreak havoc on other gummint services ISN’T the answer. Staff turnover in various areas always was a problem.
    It may allow increasingly impressive C.V’s and LinkedIn profiles (in that space, going forward), but it’ll do little to improve public services, or implement policies that we – Joe and Josephine Public vote and pay for.

    I’ve often wondered which is the gummint agency that serves us the worst of the worst.
    Unfortunately, The Ministry for Everything comes out tops. YES – even worse than MSD, or NZTA, or take your pick.
    It’s taken YEARS for the managerialist overlords at the Labour Inspectorate to start doing what they were supposed to be doing. And even now it’s a drop in the bucket. STUEY, now that you’ve woke, what the fuck were you doing when Cassen (of scum fame) was around? (I can tell you – procrastinating, doing bullshit raids around the BoP, making excuses and hoping you’d never really have to get off your chuff and do the job expected of you and what you signed up for). Thankfully, you’re a regular bloke and a nice guy – which of course doesn’t mean you’ve been competent in the past. Thankfully, you and quite a few of your colleagues have been able to capture Ministers from both sides of the aisle. Unfortunately Keiran McNulty and a couple of others can’t do everything but you are being watched.

    Immigration is STILL a fucking disaster. I’ll wash my mouth out with soap and water after saying that it’d be better to outsource things like visa processing and integrity checking. And by that I mean immigration LAWYERS ( with the ability for them to be sanctioned and monitored ) rather than ADVISORS that the Ministry for Everything used to advise entities like labour hire companies, or security companies, or even bloody hairdressers to vertically integrate their bullshit operations with visa applications – a recipe for exploitation. (And so it has come to pass).

    NOT once cent has been spent on offshore advertising btw, alerting people to the potential pitfalls. I guess that cost centre expenditure needed to be kept for bullshitting and spinning.

    This was always a Munstry that needed dismantling, and it’d have been VERY easy to do so. (That’s one of the benefits of all the cost-centre/KPI/neo-liberal managerialist/corporatised system of gummint,

    So far, there isn’t the will, but the natives are getting restless – HERE, and offshore.
    I wouldn’t wanna be in their shoes, and thankfully I don’t have to be.

    And sorry @ snow white, but Peter Hughes might have been an OK guy when you’ve encountered is wondermentals, but currently he’s as USELESS as tits on a bull.
    Let’s give Him a knighthood and shuffle Him off somewhere where he can thrive. (like a Ryman Care rest home for the Bewildered where some Filipino wage slave can wait on him hand and foot)

  2. Cynically, our government have changed all the government departments at great expense to lead with te reo branding, in spite of only 7.9% speaking te reo fairly well.

    But when the government want to market something unpopular, they somehow lose the te reo – like 3 Waters / 5 Waters and now the boring sounding (nothing can go wrong, surely?) Water Reform.

    Suggests the woke know that the government te reo changes were just another woke virtue signal and they didn’t care that it alienated the more than 90% of people who didn’t speak te reo fairly well. They could have done something real with the money like median barriers or housing or pay bus drivers or nurses more, but didn’t.

    Similar to many wokies like, Jason Paris (Vodafone CEO), rebranding to ONE, he is so woke his most loved meme is that Vodafone customers are leaving due to having te reo everywhere when they write to him to complain about Vodafone. Where is the te reo in the Rebrand, ONE, Vodafone? He does somehow manage to reduce employee costs 33 million year on year though.

    Like most woke, they believe in nothing, its all just a virtue signal to other woke.

    My suggestion is both ONE and Water Reform get the well known woke spokesperson such as Shaneel Lai, to Fuck you TERF cunt, in te reo could be charming. And look how being woke, worked out for Bud Light and Nike.

  3. Dead right.
    Commerce Commission anyone?

    Wait until we start looking for transformers to help us move towards the green transition. In America they are waiting for 2 years and longer for products.

    Why? The lowest hanging fruit has been harvested. Most of the materials that are needed are found where? Under ground at long distances from public infrastructure and nobody wants anyone do disturb their neighbourhood. More fossil fuel needed than ever before to mine and transport these materials that we need to go renewable!!

    Diesel is the fuel that allows us to mine these materials. A barrel of oil allows one to manufacture/refine one half barrel of diesel and one half barrel of by product. The byproduct is fuel. The more diesel you need to burn the more fuel byproduct you will have. Surprise, surprise, the price of internal combustion comes down because they burn a waste product in the renewable energy era. Oh, shit, what just happened??

    When the rubber hits the road. Or is that when reality checks in. Or is it when the shit hits the fan.

  4. Iv’e never understood this. Surely an easily drafted piece of legislation, that demands a wholesaler of any goods, can’t deny the smaller purchaser of any goods , the same deal as the big purchaser. The only good thing about the existing setup is the discount the big purchaser gets gives some indication of the mark up. The existing setup ensures that the small user who can least afford it pays the most and gets the crumbs. The greed of the large provider and the large purchaser is grotesque. I first came across it in farming. The large farms ( Dairy cooperates, land corp and multi farm owners, got special deals when buying vet products and general farm supplies. They also got priority on killing space and could deal better when buying and selling stock. Its why your local Dairy is dearer than your supermarket. In the cases of drainage and building supplies and contractors, I don’t believe setting a % number of local contractors is the answer. IMO The government needs to instruct the wholesale suppliers to give the same deals and access to everyone, but with that a govt watchdog keep tabs on the markups involved. Outfits like Fletchers control their own product and supply anyway. They own the companies that make the stuff and then distribute it to their own contractors. They will survive, the little guy won’t. We need all the little guy’s together to create some sort of competition. Of course we have the lobbyists chatting up the thick Government Ministers don’t we. That’s where a lot of the problem is I bet.

  5. Didn’t read much past the headline, but if it really is all about the pipes, as per the headline.
    Then ditch co-governance.
    Pipes will get fixed.

  6. “If three waters is all about pipes…….”
    Seriously. At this stage of the reform?

    The raw water in the streams and the catchments has never been part of this reform.
    The District Councils and Unitary councils are on top of this. So they say.
    It is only the pipes, treatment plants, storm drains, open channels, stop banks and catch pits that we struggle with. And of course the inflows into the water systems cause by property owners other users and infiltrations and exfiltration through breakages in pipes …. and the big one. Sea level rise.

  7. Just not sure if we can trust the woke to do anything but waste as much money and opportunity as possible, with or without co goverance. Blimey they can’t even get a street lamp installed anymore without a disaster. Then there are the big ideas, millions of consultants, but nothing done, service costs rise, delivery comes to a stand still or gets worse.

    Wellington City Council unsure how cycle lane just inches wide happened

    Every street lamp in Wellington at risk of falling down, residents warned

    Skypath project likely cancelled over technical problems

    Woke ideology seems to take a lot of time and money but also doesn’t seem to be able to produce anything that works. It’s like a Ponzi for consultants and lawyers.

    Do I have much faith in the councils, nope, but way less faith in NZ woke central government that has been trying to build affordable warm, dry houses for nearly a decade now but without much success. Even if they get an expensive one off the ground, they build it in a flood plain and it needs to be rebuilt.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.