Labour and National and Industry Intervention

Written By: - Date published: 8:51 am, December 9th, 2022 - 73 comments
Categories: Environment, labour, Nanaia Mahuta, national, uncategorized, water - Tags:

Minister Mahuta’s water reforms are by some measure the most consequential industry intervention of this Labour government, and likely to be the most successful in over a decade.

The most direct commercial intervention by the John Key National government was the Sky City deal of 2009-11.

Let’s never suggest that National don’t massively intervene in business. Let’s remember how that worked out. Sky City got a 27-year extension to its Auckland casino license. It was enabled to add 230 slot machines and 40 gaming tables with a further 12 gaming tables that could be constituted for automated table games. SkyCity also gained up to 17% of slot machines in restricted areas that could accept notes greater than $20. It was also enabled to go cashless to empty all your accounts faster. All of it by using Parliamentary process. It also got a substantial piece of public property from TVNZ.

New Zealand in return was to get a National Convention Centre for free.

The National Convention Centre according to the Economic Development Minister Stephen Joyce at the time said the convention centre would add an estimated NZ$90 million a year to the local economy, create 1,000 jobs during construction, and could draw some 33,000 additional conference delegates here each year.

This was all personally brokered by John Key, directly with the SkyCity Board.

Net result a decade later: fat profits to the company and not a goddam single cent of benefit to the New Zealand citizen nor a convention centre nor a single delegate.

That is National industry intervention.

Now let us get to the deal most comparable deal to that mutant: Local Loop Unbundling and its farsighted economic good.

In 2004 Labour determined to break the Telecom near-monopoly on broadband access and pricing. For that effort Minister Swain was undercut by Telecom and demoted from Cabinet. In the next attempt Telecom staff colluded with a Parliamentary staff member to intercept a draft Cabinet decision, stole it back to Telecom headquarters, and with it attempted to screw the new Minister, David Cunliffe. It occurred right on Budget and was the worst budget leak, and worst public sector leak of any commercial decision of this magnitude, that New Zealand has yet seen.

Minister Cunliffe was regularly vilified in the media and had little support from his Labour colleagues for it, other than when Parliamentary votes were required.  No doubt Minister Mahuta knows that that feels like: she  and she alone knows how it feels because she alone has challenged New Zealand capitalism and hence paid the price for challenging its power.

But this is what Labour industry intervention looks like.

By 2010 the Telecom Board Chair Roderick Deane resigned and in February 2007 Theresa Gattung resigned having turned the largest company on the NZX into a wreck.

This is what happened next. New Zealand punched through the second decade of the millennium with the fastest fibre uptake in the developed world. Mobile operators leaped from 3G to 4G to 5G at a speed which has revolutionised New Zealand society to every device.

The New Zealand film industry within a decade of smashing Telecom added NZ$1 billion to real GDP, was estimated to contribute to export volumes by NZ$700 million, and employed around 14,000 jobs.

In 2021 and 2022 despite the pandemic-induced recession enabled schools, polytechs and universities to keep on teaching right throughout. An entire societal shift has occurred to enable people to work from home, and commuting increasingly is just an option. In no small part the structural separation of Telecom under Labour and then National enabling the state-directed broadband rollout saved this country and accelerated its cohesion and efficiency simultaneously.

It also gave rise to Crown Fibre Holdings as a permanent Crown entity with massive investment power and planning ambit.

To put not too fine a point on those two examples: National makes shit commercial intervention, and Labour commercial intervention leaves a long term legacy of good.

Now let us turn to what Minister Mahuta has left us with. Under Labour and with support from no other party.

Minister Mahuta will leave a legacy in water which does several long term things.

First it is the final de facto peak of mass volume dairying that has sickened our land and water since the GATT agreements and accelerated by National directly funding the irrigation of much of the South island for dairy. This is the death of bulk dairy that has destroyed much of our rivers, lakes and streams. We knew we needed a country beyond bulk dairy exports, and here it is coming.

Second it is the disempowerment of local government which has outside of Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin been run for the interests of farmers and their cattle companies and dairy companies. Local government if you are Maori, Pasifika, disabled, female, poor, renting, not driving, or under 60, has simply needed to die and Mahuta has just stood on its neck and shot it. Local government has mostly been controlled for a century by old white men for increased agricultural production and the lowest possible investment in water, and damn the risk to human life. There’s no defending the track record of local or regional government in water.

Third it turns New Zealand into a distinctive governance form by fulfilling a core part of the modern interpretation of the Treaty of Waitangi that we are all to be in long term kawanatanga with Maori about water. In this we are now quite distinct from the native governance arrangements of Australia and its states, Canada and its provinces, the United States and its Nations, Fiji and its tilted constitution, South Africa, or indeed anywhere else on earth. We get to own it, and we as ever get to make it work like the independent nation we are. Arguably we are the best at native peoples co-governance arrangements in the world, and are simply building on what we’ve already got going anyway.

You can make some educated guesses about what, similar to the Telecom takedown and its societal consequences, will be some water industry consequences.

I’d expect to see bottled water go up in price, and few if any further raw water export bottling plants.

I’d expect water use per citizen including farming to come down fast with universal metering. As it did fast across Auckland.

I’d expect any new dairy company that tried to set up will concentrate like Tatua on very high value export products, or perhaps indeed that no new large dairy companies will set up.

We can expect companies and entrepreneurs that add the very high value to raw water or indeed to raw milk will grow and flourish, just as we saw with telecommunications with dozens of major IT companies, film companies, gaming companies, financial services companies and more flooding our venture capital and stock markets. Yes that means more exported expensive wine, more beer, more spirits, more of any kind of expensive fluid, or any high end protein additive.

Sure, 2023 may risk , like the great Fast Forward Fund of 2007 or Kirk’s great 1974 Superannuation Fund, that National will come in again and kill it all and again tie the feet of New Zealand to slow-growth and slow-wealth and slow-ambition. If National had not killed either of those initiatives we would be outstripping the wealth of Australia right now.

But for now understand this: there is not a single other party in Parliament today other than Labour who knows how and why to intervene in the right industry at the right time. And this time it was Minister Nanaia Mahuta.

73 comments on “Labour and National and Industry Intervention ”

  1. Gosman 1

    It will all be reversed once an ACT-National government comes to power next year so whether it is the most consequential industry intervention of this Labour government is a moot point.

    • Ad 1.1

      Don't presume National will win.

    • lprent 1.2

      It isn't that likely that NatAct will get over the line. It is a possibility only, and one that has taken a long time and 4 leaders to get to.

      At present it looks evenly balanced. But even if they did… What are they going to do?

      The problem is that National are absolutely clueless about what to do about the problem apart from leaving the water problem to keep getting worse in the hands of useless councils. One thing that this whole debate has highlighted is exactly how expensive fixing the water systems will be. What are National going to do – shovel money at the systems that caused the problem?

      It comes with associated legislation about the control of water – if National tries to remove that then all of the water problems become worse.

      Even if National got into power, then it will likely be a minority government. They will need the support of NZF, Maori party, or even some of the more rational and public spirited Nat MPs. They won't want to remove legislation without something to put into its place to fix the issue.

      And National are clueless about a workable alternative…

      • The Veteran 1.2.1

        I knew numeracy standards were slipping much your inability to read the polls is something to behold. Yep, way to go till the election but a National/ACT government seems a more likely proposition. Te Parti Maori is not the Maori Party of old and National will stay clear of them … their future is with Labour and the Greens. I doubt that NZF will make it over the line … remind me how old Winston is … he's yesterdays man who enabled Ardern to form what has morphed into arguably our ever government since Muldoon 1981-84 and the electorate won't forget that.

        Meanwhile best of luck for tomorrow chaps (and chapettes). Don't let the door catch you on the backside as you exit stage left.

      • Gosman 1.2.2

        Thankfully the ACT party isn't and has a viable alternative.

      • Rob 1.2.3

        Do they even consider alternatives there policy is surely wanting!

        • lprent 1.2.3.1

          Sure they did. Have you had your head stuck up your arse for the last 20 years like a typical National MP?

          The discussions about what became regional water discussions and eventually the 3 waters proposals were started in about 2002. At least that was when I got interested enough to start keeping an eye on it. That discussion was part of the work fell out of the work for the Local Government Act 2002

          Here is a speech by Marian Hobbs on the regional water systems back. At the same time there were views being sought from LGNZ, councils, health (and ideas from that were updated in the 2007 amendments to the Health Act) and even from National.

          That was why National eventually started the review of the 3 waters systems in 2017 only after the 2016 mass water infections in Havelock North where 5500 people fell ill and 4 people died. The review was completed and was published at the start of 2019. That review canvassed all interested parties again for ideas. Somewhere there is the actual review report including (from memory) all of the submissions.

          Labour put the recommendations (actually almost of the major recommendations) into proposed legislation towards the end of 2019.

          The review link above gives all of the major steps including documents, costings, minutes, alternatives, and everything else you need. LGNZ has released all of the advice that they had – like their Castalia reports. There have been multiple proposals from almost every conceivable body – apart from of course, our favourite Sargent Shulz party – National (“I know nothing”. “I saw nothing”. ‘I am not capable of government’).

          This is an age of largely open data on most policy decisions.

          So I'd have to say that if you don't know enough about it – then perhaps you simply aren't worthy of having the privilege and responsibility of having a vote.

          If you want to have a voice without me assisting you in recognising your own limitations, the I'd suggest that you you at least read the wikipedia page "Water supply and sanitation in New Zealand" so that I don't need to treat you like a complete fuckwit who really needs to go back to school for basic civics.

    • Mike the Lefty 1.3

      Yes, it will all be reversed, nothing put in its place and NZ's crumbling water, sewerage and stormwater infrastructure will be left to further deteriorate unless councils risk hiking up rates to pay for improvement. More sewage spills, more flash floods and more "boil water" notices – that will be National/ACT's legacy.

  2. Ad 2

    Correction Roderick Deane resigned from Telecom in 2007 as well. It's what I meant.

  3. pat 3

    You persist in erroneously linking 3 Waters to agriculture….there is no connection by design.

    The water standards are set by the Water Services Act 2021.

    3 Waters is a commercial entity (ies) charged with managing infrastructure.

    • lprent 3.1

      The association is that farmers are upstream of the bulk of the people using the water. And farmers are the bulk of the pollution in the water supplies.

      The most extreme example is in the Waikato River, where farming is directly responsible for 48% of all of the pollution that is making that river steadily moving towards been nonviable as a water source for Auckland and Hamilton. It is the same problem throughout most of NZ rivers, aquifers and water sources. Population centres are downstream of farmers using cheap water and flushing the pollution down to the towns and cities.

      The problem is that National won't want to remove the Water Service Act. It'd be political suicide to be responsible fro increasing water pollution. But they have absolutely no ideas about how to get the upstream waters improved, or how to pay for the improvements in water treatment. Because most of the councils have proven to be structurally incompetent at raising capital to do it.

      I can't see any party outside of National that would want to do it. Act just want to get councils with few population to raise bonds on the international market, go bankrupt, and fail. Like that is going to work.

      • tsmithfield 3.1.1

        Iprent, even if it is evenly balanced, although the latest Roy Morgan would suggest otherwise, the thing is that we are still to feel the full effect of the RB tightening moves.

        In a recessionary environment, as the RB seems to be trying to induce, voters tend to see incumbent governments as the cause of the problem, not the solution. So, I think it is highly likely that things will continue to get worse for Labour going forward rather than better.

        So far as 3 Waters is concerned, I expect National would likely pick up the proposal put forward by the group of councils recently.

        https://www.timaru.govt.nz/news-and-events/latest-news/group-offers-better-alternative-for-three-waters-delivery

        • lprent 3.1.1.1

          Sure, and as I keep telling optimists every election since 1996, polls outside of the few months leading up to the actual election are only useful for indication of trend of sentiment changes.

          The +/- 3.4% in the last Roy Morgan is high enough ro make the kinds of assertions you’re making moot. Bearing in mind that the actual percentage movement between major parties between polls is similar or less than that when you look across the series of polls. But when you're looking at the smaller party samples it is rather rather higher.

          And that is before you look at the sampling techniques. You can't rely on the absolute numbers because the refusal rates and non-pickups distort the numbers, which are often not reported well. Those usually only reduce in the months leading up to the election.

          From memory the Roy Morgan was random calling on about two thirds cell phone numbers (where do they get their list to sample from? random on just numbers should give you about one valid in 100 calls) and a third from a representative 'panel'. Both have inherent selection and self-selection biases.

          For instance I don't answer my cell-phone unless the caller id shows a name on my phone. People who need to get hold of me use text through whatever to say who they are – through txt, slack, linkedin, e-mail. So I couldn't be part of the group that they are sampling on. Who in the hell picks up on an unknown phone number?

          Panels are self-selected by people who have the time and interest in wanting to do the panel.

          I think that the 3.4% is really optimistic. In reality a poll is closer to +/- 15% when tracked against a election result from 12 months out.

          And the trend is interesting. It shows National recovering to a more normal level after their pandemic defeat in 2020. But Nat/Act is roughly at the same level of Lab/Green on trend. They aren't making much traction since they rose back 7 months ago.

          The listed number of undecided doesn't appear to dropping.

          Sure there are a lot of economic factors in play. But they are worldwide. The historical trend worldwide with recessionary times is ambiguous. Sometimes it causes a voter appetite for change. Sometimes it causes a trend to steady as she goes.

          In this coming election, even you can't argue that National stands for change. So far the only thing that they are offering is "not labour" and no change. That is a hard proposition to offer and win an election on when it is quite evident that we are in turbulent times with pandemics, wars, disrupted supply lines, and National's complete political incompetence through the pandemic.

      • pat 3.1.2

        And how do you propose an organisation responsible for the piping of water to and from residences/ premises is going to impact any of that?….the short answer is it simply cannot.

        Nor is it intended to….that is the misrepresentation of the legislation Ad continues.

        If agricultural water consumption/discharge is going to be addressed it will be by another mechanism.

        • lprent 3.1.2.1

          And how do you propose an organisation responsible for the piping of water to and from residences/ premises is going to impact any of that?….the short answer is it simply cannot.

          Because an larger organisation that is receiving crap in the water from upstream (and having to pay for treating it) is in a much more powerful position to argue about the polluter upstream in the regional forums like the Waikato River Authority.

          Unlike a limited urban council or a NGO they can show a strong legal interest across a range of pollution receivers like smaller cities and towns to the regional councils like the WRA or the Canterbury Regional Council. If required they have the resources and the people take them to court to do their damn job according to the legislation that governs them.

          They can participate in defending against NGOs like FedFarmers or industry groups that always argue that their very narrow interests in continuing to pollute water supplies override the interests of those who have to drink the stuff.

          There is a reason that the funding of opposition to 3 waters has largely come from groups who have already vested interests in being able to pollute.

          It would end the ability of organisations like Waikato farmers being able to set a target that in 80 years, they may have stopped increasing the pollution level in the Waikato river. Whcih is exactly what happened in the last plan amendment

      • bwaghorn 3.1.3

        I'm.fairly certian that it was in the Clark years that a large amount of pine forest was removed for dairy farms in the upper basin of the waikato River, Chinese owned run by land Corp.

      • Gosman 3.1.4

        Thankfully we won't have to rely on National to come up with an alternative to the current mess that Labour is passing on 3-waters. ACT has a policy already developed around this that can be adopted by the new government when they have the opportunity.

        https://www.act.org.nz/policies/three-waters

        • Incognito 3.1.4.1

          And there we have it: ACT is and will remain the Policy Right arm of National.

        • KJT 3.1.4.2

          ACT proposes the usual right wing fuckup of infrastructure provision.

          Then there is National.

          Whose sole reason for existence is to transfer public wealth into private hands..

        • lprent 3.1.4.3

          Acts stated policy is a completely unworkable pile of garbage.

          It essentially enables anyone with money to outlast their opposition in court to do anything that they want under tort law. The kind that takes decades to go through courts after irreparable damage is done.

          They can even do it without notifying anyone that they're soon to pour toxic sludge over their direct neighbours.

          Act – the party that loves polluters.

          Whoever wrote that policy is a legal moron who obviously has never read the case law surrounding why the legislation and courts dropped that approach after the 19th century.

          Mind you it’d make a great protest action. Buy a acre upstream just to drop poison in a water way to kill off all of the animals downstream. Then claim bankruptcy well into the subsequent court case.

  4. ianmac 4

    The brilliant Advantage strikes again. My muddled thinking about the issues has been clarified. The smug Luxon thinks his mana has won the next Election already.

    Thanks Ad. Maybe you could become an advisor to Labour on getting the facts out. $1,000 per hour?

  5. Mike the Lefty 5

    To comment on the third point regarding the Treaty of Waitangi.

    There are an unquantifiable, but probably considerable proportion of New Zealanders who don't really care about the Treaty of Waitangi, thus words like "co-governance" and "interpretations of Treaty principles" are foreign principles to them. These are the ones who are easy prey for organisations like Hobsons Pledge and will support anything that doesn't allow those stirring Maoris to get the upper hand, because of course they will end up as slaves in their own country…..blah blah blah……etc.

    There are also many who think that Treaty principles should be included but do not really understand what that actually involves. I admit that I am one of these.

    Unfortunately the Labour government has done a pretty poor job of explaining the whole process and that has allowed the misinformation industry and racist mongers free reign to set up and dominate social media on what is admittedly a complicated subject.

    It will be a very hard road for Labour to get back on track with this and reclaim the high ground, and Nanaia Mahuta seems to have been largely deserted by her colleagues and been left the job on her own.

  6. Graeme 6

    Agricultural water takes have been metered for 10 years, much hissing and snarling at the time but everyone's got on with it and now see metering as an essential management tool.

    Surprisingly the industry, as in Water NZ, is very much be in support of the 3 Waters reforms.

    • Ad 6.1

      Yes very cool that.

      Looking forward to the rest of the population catching up.

    • Craig H 6.2

      Leaving aside any potentially thorny (co-)governance issues, the basic concepts of water as a utility and entities of sufficient size to achieve economies of scale are probably not controversial for (most) technical experts. Obviously that's not everyone's view and doesn't get into any of the democracy-based debates.

      • RedLogix 6.2.1

        the basic concepts of water as a utility and entities of sufficient size to achieve economies of scale are probably not controversial for (most) technical experts.

        As someone who has worked in a senior technical role in the industry, I have made that argument many times here. That WaterNZ supports 3W adds a lot more weight to this view than my mere reckons.

        The problem I have had with it from the outset, is that it conflated a necessary operational amalgamation – with a murky and contentious co-governance agenda that I maintain amounts to a covert privatisation.

    • lprent 6.3

      Same for treatment of waste water from what I understand.

      The problem hasn't been with the majority of farmers – they tend to follow the extant law and regulations over time.

      However the advocate groups for farmers appear to be swayed mostly the noisy minority and the agricultural suppliers (like the nitrogenous and phosphate fertiliser industry in the Waikato River catchment).

      That combination have been a complete disaster for farming because they cause changes that need to be made and will be made to get piled up in regulations and legislation tat arrives all at once.

      Think of this photo from 2002 – the dangerous idiots 20 years ago caused the pain that climate changes is going to cause farming for the next 20 years. They literally killed the gradual adoption of climate change standards and the required R&D to make the change relatively painless over 40 years, and compressed severe changes without solutions into the next decade or two.

      The same idiots are now ‘Groundswell’. This time they have all of the other taxpayers paying for their stupid mistake 20 years ago.

      Personally I’m in favour of just ignoring farmers this time and shoving them into ETS or even better a specific industry tax so that they catch up on the payment that they missed fro the last 20 years that we have been paying ETS.

      Meanwhile other industries have been adapting. Farming is now 48% of our climate change emissions and still rising.

  7. Nanaia Mahuta has risen above their nasty vilification previously.

    She has huge inner strength and fortitude to do what is right even if it is not easy.

    Her quiet dignity and thoughtful replies have deflected many nasty attacks.

    Her work will be as Fafoi's with the Door to door Sale Trucks which sold high priced goods to the poor with usury terms. They have shrunk from 26 to 8.

    Here is hoping Labour get back in next year and the worst aspects of non regenerative farming become a thing of the past, and better practice and water use give competitive outcomes. 148 litres of water to produce 1 litre of milk just one item to need better recycling and farming practice.

    Labour needs to list what is at risk and how many jobs would be lost if Act's programme happened.

    We are told that Nicola Willis would be Treasurer. What is her agenda? Farming as usual?

    It is hard to know what Luxon would do apart from undo all achievements of this Government as he trumpets loud and long with his revamp of "boot camps" a long failed approach for youth offenders. That indicates how regressive other welfare policies would be imo.

    Below them are Bishop Woodhouse and Simeon Brown of religious narrow thinking.

    They will quickly with help from Act, turn Education into a cash cow with little offered to nonpaying locals, import low paid almost slave labour, turn the housing market over to the big players again, and flood us with backpackers. Money making religions and charities will flourish once more.

    How do people forget so soon? They are told so many half truths.

    Half truths about crime freedom and poverty and the intentions of Maori.

    There is a great deal at stake, so we need to be selling what has gone well, and promote hope for the future.

    Thank you Nanaia for your fortitude.

    • Heather 7.1

      Wonderful comments, I agree with you. Nanaia showed such bravery and courage under constant disrespectful, misogynistic and racist attack.

    • Unfortunately, Labour seem to be backing down unnecessarily over things.

      They don't seem to realise that the media is the enemy. Jackson called them out, and Adern made him apologize.
      It isn't going to satisfy them.

  8. Hunter Thompson II 8

    Your comments on water use in NZ seem accurate, particularly with respect to the dairy industry. Regional councils have failed NZ over water resources, especially in Canterbury.

    But you take a very benign view of Mahuta and her intentions. Three (Five?) Waters is not just about water, it is about grasping the levers of political power.

    There are already signs that chicanery lies ahead:

    • Mahuta’s relatives being installed in well-paid positions on government bodies without the prescribed process being followed
    • The entrenchment clause shemozzle with the Water Services Entities Bill

    These events don’t instil confidence that our democratic processes will be respected.

    Mahuta’s legacy will be the destruction of the Labour government.

    • Mahuta's relatives….. That is a slur. Her sister works for NZ Health, so how did Nanaia influence that? Her husband won a contract, so hissy fit!!

      Yet Many National people have been in similar positions including Bill English.

    • Incognito 8.2
      • Mahuta’s relatives being installed in well-paid positions on government bodies without the prescribed process being followed

      It was just a matter of time before somebody would raise the issue of alleged conflicts of interest in how some government agencies awarded contracts to family members of Mahuta. Obviously, such person would also believe the conspiracy narrative of a power grab by Mahuta and so-called Māori elites that would make the Bilderberg Group and Panama Papers look like a bunch of amateurs, that’s how cunning and devious those Murrays are. Anywho, Mahuta had apparently asked for an investigation and welcomed it:

      https://thespinoff.co.nz/live-updates/22-09-2022/mahuta-welcomes-conflicts-investigation

      Since you’re making such bold accusations you must provide bold evidence to back up your claims of fact.

      The entrenchment amendment was voted on in/by Parliament and entrenchment is a democratic tool. What democratic process was disrespected in your opinion? Anywho, it has been removed since.

    • Ad 8.3

      We are not in politics to eat the biscuits.

  9. roy cartland 9

    Can you clarify/reframe:

    Local government if you are Maori, Pasifika, disabled, female, poor, renting, not driving, or under 60, has simply needed to die and Mahuta has just stood on its neck and shot it.

    Do you mean LG in its current form needs to die, or that LG need not concern itself with them?

    • Ad 9.1

      I mean that those groups have been so very poorly served by local government overall for many decades, and Mahuta has removed much of the substance of what Councils are.

  10. bwaghorn 10

    You forgot national s bribing of a possible dodgy Arab gentleman by building him a sheep farm in a desert.

    Financial genius they aren't.

  11. aj 11

    Three Waters: Understand massive stakes, or make massive mistakes.

    Bryan Cadogan, Clutha District Mayor, has penned another opinion piece which nails exactly the issue that people should be focused on, and that's not the cloud of dense smoke that opponents to 3 Water have generated.

    OPINION: Some would say it was more good luck than good management that I managed to avoid the southern mayoral malaise and sneak back in for another term. Whatever the case, I am rapt to be back and have the chance to finish what I started.

    There is so much to do in the next three years, and there are endless external pressures that are going to unavoidably make life difficult, but I suspect that success will pivot on one issue – Three Waters Reform – and quite frankly I am sick of it.

    Virtually everyone is consumed in the politics and the pantomime, and the true and very present danger for the south is completely lost.

    Put simply, I believe if we get this wrong everyone’s lives will be financially compromised and many, many, Otago and Southland people will go bankrupt. I do not say this lightly.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/southland-times/opinion/130715596/three-waters-understand-massive-stakes-or-make-massive-mistakes

    • pat 11.1

      it is worth noting a couple of key points from this article, particularly as they relate to the OP

      "We must also not confuse rural one water with urban three waters, especially now that rural differences have been acknowledged in the legislation and no rural water supply has to be involved in these reforms, leaving the battle lines distinctly as urban."

      and

      "No doubt you will have heard the argument that councils have underinvested in critical infrastructure.

      I would prefer to say that we have deliberately prioritised projects to protect the people we serve, but it’s impossible to restrain costs, especially in this inflammatory environment, and if we get out-manoeuvred and find ourselves in an all-new-nightmare southern entity in a very few short years we will find ourselves with rates that I predict will correlate to $1 in every $4."

      Think about it.

  12. ianmac 12

    And what a great photo of Minister Mahuta. A warm but steely determined woman.

    • Gosman 12.1

      Who seemingly doesn't have a problem throwing her own party colleagues under the bus and ignoring collective cabinet responsibility.

      • ianmac 12.1.1

        You should check your facts Gosman. A Green SOP is not Mahuta's problem.

      • swordfish 12.1.2

        .

        Who seemingly doesn’t have a problem throwing her own party colleagues under the bus and ignoring collective cabinet responsibility.

        LOL … spot on.

        The patronising 'Noble Savage' paternalism of affluent Pakeha Wokedom is quite extraordinary.

        Deriving in-group prestige-enhancement by treating all Maori (including dogmatic, power-wielding senior politicians) as eternally innocent & virtuous, bereft of agency, perpetual victims, always pristinely pure of motive.

        Self-indulgent Culturalist Romanticism … for which the less affluent & powerful will always pay the price.

        • Patricia Bremner 12.1.2.1

          Patronising "Noble Savage Paternalism"………

          The only person using the term savage is you. Get a grip.

          As for "Affluent wokedom" that is your take, we get that. Most of us are quite poor, but not greedy.

          I think Robert had it in one!!

  13. Jackel 13

    Mission Accomplished. Water supplies secured. Thank you Nanaia

  14. Anker 14

    Jackel. we were never without water supplies.

    While I would be the first to admit I don't understand the complexities, there are many people who are very concerned about the funding arrangements for Three Waters.

    We will have to wait and see how it pans out or if NACT get in, expect it to be cancelled or certainly rolled back

    • Graeme 14.1

      I'd put a little side bet that this will be like Working for Families, National will jump up and down at the time it's enacted, then when they are eventually in government, just quietly let it slide.

      Now they have been smoked out about privatisation of water, and have had to go on record saying that they won't privatise, they will have difficulty coming up with a better structure.

  15. Anker 15

    https://cranmer.substack.com/p/three-waters-and-one-mountain-of?utm_source=profile&utm_medium=reader2

    I don't pretend to understand debt and debt servicing. But this article by Thomas Cranmer (who claims to have worked in this area as a lawyer) makes me very nervous about Three Waters.
    From Thomas Cranmer “in this instance I am writing as a lawyer who has practised as a leveraged finance and restructuring expert for 25+ years – starting in New Zealand at one of our leading law firms and then, for many years in the UK. I’ve acted for borrowers, banks, hedge funds and private equity sponsors putting these deals together and then restructuring them more times than I care to remember.” These are his credentials.

    Complex issues but maybe some of you who understand how borrowing works at this level may be able to pick it apart.

    My conclusiong rightly or wrongly is that the success of Three Waters is anything but certain.

  16. Darien Fenton 16

    Great article A and also great dialogue. It really is a pleasure reading The Standard most days ; I have given up on TDB and all who sail in him.

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  • Govt will deliver on expanded breast screening
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    5 days ago
  • Government announces woolshed roadshows in support of sheep farmers
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    6 days ago
  • Speech: Address to the NZ Economics Forum
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  • Government tackling high construction costs
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  • Labour’s Three Waters legislation repealed
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  • Cost of living support for beneficiary households
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    7 days ago
  • Government announces agriculture delegations to better support Primary sector
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    1 week ago
  • Waikato MoU reinforces Govt’s commitment to increase NZ doctors
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  • Speech – Lunar New Year 2024
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  • Budget will be delivered on 30 May
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    1 week ago
  • New diplomatic appointments
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    2 weeks ago
  • Speech to the Committee for Auckland
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    2 weeks ago
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    2 weeks ago
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    2 weeks ago
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    2 weeks ago
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    2 weeks ago
  • Greater focus on getting people into work
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    2 weeks ago
  • One year on, NZ appeals for release of Phillip Mehrtens
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    2 weeks ago
  • Ministers reaffirm Pacific connections this week
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    2 weeks ago
  • Rt Hon Christopher Luxon – Waitangi speech
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    2 weeks ago
  • High Court Judge appointed
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    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand provides further humanitarian support to Gaza and the West Bank
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    3 weeks ago
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    3 weeks ago
  • Tai Tokerau Water Boost
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    3 weeks ago
  • Fast track consenting in the fast lane
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  • JOINT STATEMENT ON AUSTRALIA-NEW ZEALAND MINISTERIAL CONSULTATIONS (ANZMIN) 2024
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  • Minimum wage set for cautious increase
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    3 weeks ago
  • Increased security improves ED safety over summer
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    3 weeks ago

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