Graham Adams: The government is stumbling towards disaster over Three Waters

 

The Opposition parties must be watching with glee, writes Graham Adams, as councils reject Nanaia Mahuta’s plan for drinking water, stormwater and wastewater.

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Even Labour’s most one-eyed supporters must be aware by now that the Three Waters reform being pushed by Nanaia Mahuta is fast becoming a make-or-break issue for the government. The eight-week “engagement” period that ended on September 30 saw a swathe of councils across the nation objecting — sometimes angrily — to the proposed changes to the management of drinking water, storm water and wastewater.

Mahuta’s plan is for the 67 councils’ water services to be merged into four giant regional authorities that ratepayers will not directly own or control. As National’s Chris Luxon says, councils are rightly worried about “not having direct influence and no shareholding or formal stake in the new entity whatsoever”.

The roll call of disaffected councils includes those overseeing our two biggest cities. Between them, Auckland and Christchurch represent nearly two million inhabitants — or roughly 40 per cent of New Zealand’s population.

Furthermore, their mayors — Phil Goff and Lianne Dalziel — are former high-ranking Labour ministers, which makes dismissing their opposition difficult.

The rhetoric from Christchurch councillors, in particular, has been incendiary. One, James Gough, said the proposal showed disregard for democracy, and was nothing short of “blatant asset theft”. Continue reading “Graham Adams: The government is stumbling towards disaster over Three Waters”

Stuff and more nonsense – the perturbing case of political adverts being rejected

Having declared its intention to be guided by a set of treaty principles, Stuff has set about suppressing the views of a political group which questions the establishment of special seats for Maori on local  local authorities.

Or rather, two publications in the Stuff stable have got into the suppression business.

We learn this from Breaking Views, which has published an item headed Democracy Northland: The Ad Stuff Refused to Publish.

We look forward to a denial from Stuff and a statement which rebuts the Breaking Views claim that the Whangarei Leader and the Bay Chronicle have refused to publish an advertisement which promotes a petition from Democracy Northland.

The advert says: Continue reading “Stuff and more nonsense – the perturbing case of political adverts being rejected”