Three waters campaign launched

The newly formed campaign group is taking its concerns about Three Waters to Parliament this week.

Ōpōtiki is one of 23 local councils that are part of the campaign group, Communities 4 Local Democracy - He hapori mō te Manapori, that says it represents more than a million New Zealanders in its serious concerns about the Government’s Three Waters reforms.

Mayor Lyn Riesterer says she was not in Wellington as part of the delegation of about a dozen mayors and other elected representatives taking the group’s message to meetings with National, ACT and the Green Party.

Lyn told Local Democracy Reporting she's busy with meetings and workshops with the council in Ōpōtiki.

She says she's pleased to hear that Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern contacted one of the mayors in the group on Tuesday night to say she would meet with the group to hear their concerns sometime in February.

“This is one of the things we had asked for with our joint letter to her last month.”

Lyn says the Communities 4 Local Democracy is a multi-faceted campaign “but the main concern is with the four entities model” of the Three Waters reform.

“There is no problem with there being reform. There is no problem with there being an independent water regulator. There ought to have been one years ago. This is progress.

“It’s the four entities model. Quite frankly, it’s something that the majority of councils were opposed to when they put their submissions in to the Department of Internal Affairs. Most of those councils put forward alternatives. Then, of course, it was mandated.”

Ōpōtiki elected members decided to join the campaign led by Manawatū Mayor Helen Worboys on November 16 when they signed a Memorandum of Understanding between partner councils in relation to the Three Waters Campaign.

Days later they also added their signatures to a joint letter to the prime minister expressing their disappointment with the proposed legislation and seeking a meeting.

A media release sent out yesterday said for the group of 23 councils from around the country, the main concern of the campaign is losing control of approximately $60 billion of community-owned assets.

“Like the Government, we want to ensure all New Zealanders have access to safe drinking water and we are committed to working with the Government to achieve that,” the campaign’s chairwoman, Ms Worboys says.

“No-one disputes the need for investment, but there’s a better way to achieve the Government’s objectives and we want to work in partnership with them on that,” she says.

“Our action group will introduce fresh ideas for better water. But our fresh ideas will ensure that our local communities continue to have a say on how the assets that they have bought and paid for are used to achieve our health and environmental goals.

“This is an inclusive campaign – it’s about safe drinking water for all New Zealanders, whoever and wherever they are. More meaningful Mana Whenua representation is an important part of that. It’s also an apolitical campaign – we’re completely focused on the issue regardless of political affiliation.”

Ms Worboys says Communities 4 Local Democracy was commissioning expert advice on alternative models that might achieve the objectives of Government and local communities and will be sharing its findings when they are complete.

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Posted on 21-12-2021 15:28 | By This Guy

but what about regional councils right to give their water away to Chinese bottling factories, for it to shipped offshore to be sold at a premium...


Posted on 18-12-2021 13:03 | By morepork

I can’t tell you how much I am concerned by this. I see our country descending into chaos and division, driven by racist government policies under the guise of "co-governance". (This is a euphemism for "Maori Superiority and Preference"). Most Maori and non-Maori just want a fair deal for everyone, but there is a small cadre of opportunists who see a chance to manipulate a weak government in the name of "Political Correctness". Now, more than ever before, we need a strong Opposition and it is encouraging to see approval increasing for National. I am pleased to see that I am not the only one who feels like this, but many won’t speak because they are afraid of being labelled "Racist". I don’t care about labels and I have respect for ALL the ethnicities in our country. People who need help should get it, irrespective of ANY discriminatory factors.

The point

Posted on 18-12-2021 11:10 | By Kancho

Is this government is undermining local government and democracy by stealth. The point is to remember this at the next election and get rid of them. Several parties are opposed and need your votes. The government has been working on this for years and keeping it under wraps otherwise it would have been in the election build up. Theft of assets and race based governance must not prevail.

Wrong Vote!

Posted on 17-12-2021 13:16 | By Equality

Please note that Western Bay BOP mayor Webber used his casting vote to vote in favour of the three waters scheme.

What is the point

Posted on 17-12-2021 09:22 | By Potofstu

Win this so called transparent government has already made its mind up

Just out of curiosity

Posted on 17-12-2021 08:09 | By DaveTheCynic

Where are these "grass roots" organisations getting their funding from? Commissioning expert advice doesn’t come cheap.

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