Three Waters repealed.
No more asset grab.
A inquiry into New Zealand’s water infrastructure was commenced by the National Government in 2017, following the water contamination crisis in Havelock North in 2016. The Labour government embarked on a full-scale Three Waters Reform Programme after re-election in 2020. Three Waters refers to infrastructure that delivers our drinking water and removes wastewater and stormwater.
The introduction of the Water Quality Bill in 2020 resulted in legislation that made it impossible for councils to meet the new water standards. The Bill came into effect in October 2021.
The water assets (essentially the pipes and treatment plants) are currently owned and paid for by ratepayers of our country’s city and district councils. Ownership will be removed from local councils and put into the hands of three huge regional entities. Contrary to what the government tells you, ownership and control would be lost.
We are under no illusion that many councils across the nation fail to invest in their water services because there are councillors who prefer to invest in cycle ways rather than spend money on necessities. However, that lack of discipline does not excuse the government from taking those assets away from local ownership.
Labour says communities will retain influence over the Three Waters assets and services through their council and consumer groups or community interest forums. In reality, ratepayers will no longer have any say in the management of their water assets. Any semblance of input or influence will be so diluted as to be meaningless.
These large regional organisations will also give rise to a class of new bureaucrats and technocrats, increasing the cost of the public service.
Labour has sold this policy, again through fear, by telling ratepayers they will have to pay up to $2000 or more per year on their rates bill if the plan is not implemented.
New Nation will ensure there will be new infrastructure. We will do this through reallocating taxpayer funds. We will also re-build the infrastructure of our country by making our economy wealthier. (See our Growing Our Economy policy.)
LOCAL ASSETS WILL REMAIN IN LOCAL HANDS