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Mike's Minute: Why has the government brought Three Waters back?

Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Mon, 26 Jun 2023, 10:07am

Mike's Minute: Why has the government brought Three Waters back?

Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Mon, 26 Jun 2023, 10:07am

If you haven't caught up, Three Waters is back.

That surprises me to a degree, given the trouble the Government has had with Three Waters, the problems they have in the polls and the trouble they dug themselves into last week over race issues in health.

Just to recap - when the Prime Minister became the Prime Minister he tossed a bunch of stuff out, or on the bonfire. But one of them wasn’t Three Waters.

Three Waters was handed to Kieran McAnulty to wander off and rejig. Trouble with the rejig is it was limited to changing the number of water entities to ten from four.

I'm not sure what they were trying to achieve, given the main problem was not the number of entities but rather the co-governance aspect.

Maori got automatic access and too much influence. Maybe Kieran thought if he could smokescreen us we wouldn’t notice.

What you might have noticed is it has vanished from the radar for the past couple of months. That is the beauty of the news cycle for the Government.

We can't keep our attention on much more than one or two things these days, so serious issues can disappear.

But, Three Waters is back. It has been announced that Northland and Auckland will lead off in terms of implementation.

The trouble with this is two-fold;

1) It's an electoral disaster the Government doesn’t need,

2) It's not set to actually start until the middle of next year i.e when they are potentially out of office.

So, the obvious question is, why? Given all the trouble you have got as a Government, would you take a turd of an idea and reheat it to make your life harder during the campaign, if you have no chance of having it actually up and working to be able to show off as a potential success story?

Race has, and will, bog this Government down.

The Maorification that has unfolded in the past six years has got up the nose of a lot of people in this country. And Three Waters, in many respects, is the crown jewel of all that is wrong with the philosophy.

The mere fact the water authorities “may” give consideration to community concerns over water, but “must” react to Maori concerns is the very race problem so many don’t get, and don’t like.

Yet, here we are, looking to re-enter the battle once again.

Ask yourself this - if you are Labour, does promoting separatism, through a massive restructure of water, enhance your chances of gaining votes?

Exactly. So good luck with that.

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