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News / National and ACT hit back at Labour's Plan to Legislate 3 Waters

National and ACT hit back at Labour's Plan to Legislate 3 Waters

National and ACT hit back at Labour's Plan to Legislate 3 Waters

Posted October 27, 2021
Government

The National Party has hit back at the Government’s announcement to introduce legislation to progress the establishment of the Three Waters entities, saying National has feared this outcome for months.

National’s Local Government spokesperson Christopher Luxon said, “This move is tantamount to state-sanctioned theft of assets that ratepayers have paid for decades to own.

“It will create needless bureaucracy, strip away local control, and put distance between communities and decision-makers. Water services will be controlled by a complex smorgasbord of unelected appointees and officials.

“Ratepayer-owned water assets will be bundled into these mega entities with virtually no accountability. The governance structure will be messy and confused.

“By forcing the Three Waters plans on councils, Labour would be expressly ignoring every mayor who pleaded for a pause, and the over 55,000 people who signed National’s petition calling for the plans to be dumped.

“National opposes the Three Waters asset grab. If Labour rams its plan through, we have committed to repealing the entity model when we form the next government in 2023 and returning seized water assets to councils.

“We’ll continue to fight Labour’s centralisation and control agenda. It’s vital we keep the ‘local’ in local government.”

ACT’s Local Government spokesperson Simon Court has also slammed the announcement saying, “ACT will be campaigning to return stolen property to councils, reversing Three Waters reforms and restoring democracy to New Zealand.”

“If Labour steals it, ACT will give it back.

“The Government’s hapless attempts at persuasion have failed.

“It gave councils just six weeks to respond to its Three Waters proposal and failed to consider how much time would be needed to consult with communities.

“It then ran a taxpayer-funded ad campaign against local government showing sewage coming out of shower heads.

“Finally, it tried to bribe councils with subsidies, but the proposed governance model is so complicated and remote from ratepayers, councils would rather refuse taxpayer money than be part of it.

“Now it’s just stealing council assets.

“The four proposed water service companies would all be based in major cities with board members appointed by council and iwi representatives. There’s no guarantee water users in rural or provincial communities will be represented.

“ACT has proposed an alternative Water Infrastructure Plan. We have received detailed feedback from Mayors, many of whom support all or some aspects of the plan.