National and ACT remind us that they would pull the chain on the govt’s Three Waters legislation

Buzz from the Beehive

Readers of Point of Order will be familiar with the raft of issues that bedevil legislation to  implement the government’s Three Waters reforms.

They extend far beyond co-governance to financing and debt arrangements and have been revealed in a comprehensive series of articles by Thomas Cranmer.

The government is charging on with the reforms regardless, after Parliament’s Labour-dominated Finance and Expenditure Committee reported back comparatively minor changes to the Water Services Entities Bill that will establish  four publicly owned water entities to deliver water services around the country.

In statements yesterday, National’s Simon Watts said the Government has failed to use the opportunity to listen and make material changes to the Bill.

“National would work with communities to develop solutions that work for them, instead of going from the top down. We will repeal Labour’s Three Waters disaster.”

ACT’s Local Government spokesperson Simon Court said Labour is continuing to bulldoze through its wildly unpopular Three Waters policy, despite New Zealanders overwhelmingly rejecting it.

He noted that Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta will make no significant changes except to increase regional representatives so they’re unlimited, as long as they’re 50/50 iwi and council.

“Essentially that means enormous and unwieldy committees, still managed by co-governance and remote entities.

“The government has failed to listen to anyone in any substantial way. The only good news is these reforms have a life expectancy identical to the current government. Under ACT, they will be gone.”

Mahuta’s press statement was posted on the Beehive website yesterday along with statements which show our hard-working ministers have been –

Finding friends abroad to join in fulminating against fossil fuel subsidies

Trade and Export Minister Damien O’Connor posted a statement headed Joint Statement: Ministerial Statement on the Importance of Fossil Fuel Subsidy Reform at a Time of Energy Crisis.

The statement has been issued in the name of an outfit called the Friends of Fossil Fuel Subsidy Reform. Our country is named as one of the  friends in the company of Costa Rica, Denmark, Ethiopia, Finland,  Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and Uruguay.

Denmark has reserved its position on the statement awaiting the government formation following a general election on November 1

The statement recalls international commitments to Fossil Fuel Subsidy Reform under Sustainable Development Goal 12 of the 2030 Agenda and the WTO Statement on Fossil Fuel Subsidies of June 2022 and urges nations to get on with phasing out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies, because of the climate crisis and to limit global average temperatures to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.

Leaving us puzzled about to whom they have delivered a speech

This one, from Associate Foreign Affairs Minister Aupito William Sio, was headed NGO Hui, Locally led development and amplifying Pacific voices Location: National Library, Tiakiwai Conference Centre

Sio began:

Tēnā koutou katoa, talofa lava, warm Pacific greetings to you all.

Thank you for joining us for the 2022 MFAT-NGO Hui-ā-tau — annual hui.

This is the first time in three years that we have gathered kānohi-ki-te-kānohi for this event. I am delighted to be here, today, to lend my support to this important talanoa. 

Sio said he had been asked to share some thoughts on locally led development, which gives us a clue to what he was speaking about.

He went on:

Communities and kotahitanga — working together for collective benefit — are, by nature, central to your kaupapa. It is so important that we continue to ensure that everything we do for our Pacific communities is anchored by Pacific values and people, with each generation weaving the whāriki — the mat — for the next generation to stand on.


… it excites me to see that the same community-led approach we have taken to Pacific issues in Aotearoa is the one that you are taking in your mahi across Te Moana-nui-a-Kiwa.

Our translator – alas – has taken the day off.

Celebrating New Zealand’s diplomatic relations

This was another speech from Aupito William Sio, which he headed Celebrating New Zealand’s Diplomatic Relations – Global Connections and Diversity through Citizen Diplomacy”.

He talked of celebrating 80 years of diplomatic relations with the USA, 70 years with Japan, 60 years with Korea, and 50 years with China, and acknowledged other diplomatic anniversaries New Zealand celebrates this year that were not being showcased on this occasion  These include with India (1952), Samoa (1962), Peru (1972), Armenia (1992), Azerbaijan (1992), and Croatia (1992).

Essentially, the speech was celebrating four significant anniversaries, the active role of sister-city groups, and citizen diplomats,

Notching up the completion of eight houses for Ngāti Whakaue and portending the building of many more

Housing Ministers Megan Woods and Peeni Henare – at the opening of  eight affordable family homes.- celebrated the deliverance of “the first of many builds for Ngāti Whakaue Lands Trust.”

Bringing “partnership” into this triumph, Henare said:

“House by house, whānau by whānau, we are working together to address housing needs. Ngati Whākaue are walking the talk when tackling homeownership rates, with a  percentage of homes they build to be sold to Ngāti Whakaue descendants. This could include close to 150 homes.

“This is an example of what partnership looks like with the Government investing $55 million to fund the infrastructure towards the builds. This investment includes $35 million for improvements to SH30 – expected to be completed by mid-2023.”

A further $20 million was committed to Rotorua Lakes Council for other enabling infrastructure for Wharenui Rise (including $5 million for local roading improvements and $15 million for sewerage and stormwater infrastructure).

Henare also announced a new intergenerational housing project targeted at public and affordable housing, which will be built over three stages to be completed in the  next six years.

Megan Woods said the state’s investment will result in the building of around 1,100 new homes at Wharenui Rise.

Demonstrating a disdain for the strong community opposition to Three Waters  

This one came from Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta and was the subject of a report in Point of Order yesterday.

Appointing King’s Counsel

Attorney-General David Parker has announced the appointment of 10 King’s Counsel.

One thought on “National and ACT remind us that they would pull the chain on the govt’s Three Waters legislation

  1. Excellent piece.
    Most informative.
    Pity we are unable to pull the chain on this untrustworthy government and it’s devious policies sooner rather than later.
    Pulling the chain on the bureaucratic monoliths they have and will create between now and next election will cost the taxpayer yet more millions in redundancy payments.


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