Government ignoring democratic process in Three Waters steamroll

The Government’s decision to push through legislation so it can steamroll ahead with its Three Waters Reforms shows a complete disregard for the voices of New Zealanders and due democratic process, MP for Southland Joseph Mooney says.

“It is extraordinary to see the Labour Government push through legislation to allow the establishment of four entities which will strip councils of their ownership and control of local water assets.”

“This is an asset grab and a clear case of the Government again doing whatever it wants regardless of how strongly New Zealanders object to their overwhelming desire for centralisation.”

“New Zealand has a Local Government Act that sets out a due process for making important community decisions.”

“That process involves communities, ratepayers and affected groups all having their say on the future of their communities and their assets."

“The Government has shown a total disregard for that process as well as the voices of communities who are bitterly opposed to the Three Water Reforms.”

“Many of Otago and Southland’s councils have made their concerns very clear about this unnecessary and costly large-scale project and about a lack of clear communication and information from the Government.”

“The four-entity model is flawed and it takes knowledge, control and direction away from the ratepayers who have funded their local water assets by paying their rates in good faith, knowing they would result in investment in their community.”

“It is sad that Labour’s unquenchable thirst for centralisation and amalgamation has taken priority over the need for due democratic process and the voices of councils and their communities across New Zealand opposed to the Three Waters Reforms.”

“Today is a sad day for democracy in this country.”

Mooney, National’s spokesperson for Rural Communities, says he and his colleagues will continue to fight hard to see the Three Water Reforms stopped.

“My National colleagues and I will continue to lobby hard for a better way forward to protect the future of water facilities in New Zealand’s communities.”

“The Government hasn’t done its homework on these reforms and hasn’t looked at alternate solutions.”

“With generational change at stake, all options should be considered.”

“The setting of new water standards by new regulator Taumata Arowai is a positive but the best way to manage water assets is by central government assisting and incentivising local councils.”

“That builds on crucial local knowledge and direction.”

“It will be vitally important that councils and the public have their say during the Select Committee process.”

“All New Zealanders deserve to have a fair say on the future of their communities.”

“National’s position is clear, we will continue to oppose the Three Waters Reforms with everything we’ve got.”

“National will repeal the four water entities and we’ll return seized assets to councils.”

Mooney has been a staunch advocate for finding local solutions to New Zealand’s water needs