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Mike's Minute: Three Waters another attack on democracy

Author
Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Mon, 2 May 2022, 10:29am

Mike's Minute: Three Waters another attack on democracy

Author
Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Mon, 2 May 2022, 10:29am

I assume you didn’t miss the latest Three Waters announcement that was made on a Friday. It's an old trick, but this lot appear to love it.

Trouble with the new deal is it sort of changes things but then actually changes nothing.

The Government's argument is that they have listened to the committee that made various recommendations, they have accepted them, therefore that’s that. Trouble is, it isn't. That's because it must be remembered that many councils didn’t actually accept the changes offered.

The reality is things haven't changed right from the start. Three Waters is a bad idea and they want no part of it.

Part of the new deal makes no sense, anyway. They have changed the ownership model so councils retain ownership. Good? No, because despite owning the assets they have no control over them.

The control is in the hands of the new bodies. They are run by a 50-50 split of locals and iwi and in this part is the real danger. Why is it iwi have 50 per cent? What's democratic about 14 per cent of the population having 50 per cent control? And does race have to do with water quality?

You've got two stories. One is the issue of better water and whether the Government's mechanism through Three Waters is the right way to sort things. Most of us, especially the councils, say no.

The second weird bit is the injection of the race debate into a health issue. Clean water is not a race issue. The quality of water has nothing to do with whether you are Māori or not.

We all have equal access to water, we all pay for our water. It's our water and we have democratically elected people to run it for us, they are called councils.

You would have a greater argument to say we are taking the responsibility off the council and giving it to water specialists and people steeped in experience and expertise in the area.

Just because you are Māori does not make you an expert in anything except being Māori. The government, in their determination to divide this nation racially, are mixing too many things together and hoping you won't notice.

Clean water is one thing, and we all want it. Hijacking democracy for ideological purposes around race, we don’t.

This fight is far from over, and as such Friday's update changes nothing.