Open mike 27/11/2022

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, November 27th, 2022 - 205 comments
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205 comments on “Open mike 27/11/2022 ”

  1. Jenny are we there yet 1

    Venezuelan socialists opposed to both US and Russian imperialism protest outside Russian embassy in Caracas against the war in Ukraine.

    Venezuelan Voices

    Caracas, May 13, 2022. In the morning hours, representatives of the Socialism and Freedom Party (PSL), the Toromayma Cultural Collective and the Citizens’ Platform in Defense of the Constitution, gathered in front of the Russian embassy in Caracas, rejecting the invasion of Ukraine, as well as in support of the resistance of the Ukrainian people and workers against Putin’s invading army….

    …..As is known, the imperialist army of Russia invaded neighboring Ukraine last February 24. What some would have expected to be a stroll for one of the most powerful armies in the world, has turned into a bloody war in the face of the heroic resistance of the Ukrainian people.

    Unfortunately, much of the world’s left wrongly supports Putin or assumes a neutral position, de facto endorsing the invasion of Ukraine, a country impoverished by years of brutal adjustments applied by the different capitalist governments that have taken turns in power since Ukraine’s independence in 1991….

    …..In our country, the majority of the left has avoided taking a stance, while some directly support the invasion. Hence the importance of the act carried out by PSL, the Toromayma Cultural Collective and the Citizens’ Platform in Defense of the Constitution at the Russian Embassy….

    …..Something to note is that a journalist from Agence France Press was there, who, upon realizing that in addition to rejecting the invasion, we did not support NATO or any imperialist intervention, proceeded to leave without covering the protest, a reflection of the censorship exercised in Venezuela by mainstream media, which has its counterpart in the censorship and repression in Russia against anyone who demonstrates in opposition to the invasion.

    • Jenny are we there yet 1.1

      Imperialism the last great pandemic

    • UncookedSelachimorpha 1.2

      Good to see people opposing imperialism generally. I get sick of "Western imperialism OK because of Russian imperialism" or "Russian imperialism OK because of Western imperialism" etc

      • Jenny are we there yet 1.2.1

        "….I get sick of "Western imperialism OK because of Russian imperialism" or "Russian imperialism OK because of Western imperialism" etc"

        Well put. Me too.

        In the debate over the invasion of Ukraine, partisan opponents of US imperialism, accuse those of us against this aggression of ignoring the terrible crimes of US imperialism. While they ignore the terrible crimes committed by Russian imperialism.

        Putin’s imperialism in Africa

        It isn’t just Ukraine: African dictators are just fine with Russia killing for money

        April 11, 2022 | 10:12 pm

        Last week, at roughly the time that photographs and stories began to filter out of liberated Bucha in Ukraine, the NGO Human Rights Watch published a report of similar massacres which took place contemporaneously in rural Mali. What linked the two was the identity of the perpetrators. In Ukraine and across Africa, these atrocities are committed by Russians…..

        …..It might be a little surprising to see how deeply involved Russia and its mercenary armies are in Africa, and how many massacres they seem to be behind.

        “The day after the military staged a coup in Burkina Faso in January, supporters of the new regime took to the streets waving Russian flags,” writes Samuel Ramani, the author of the upcoming Russia in Africa, in Foreign Affairs. He documents a diplomatic and military strategy to become an indispensable player on the continent…..

        P.S. I disagree with the headline, which personalises Russian imperialism to the character of Vladimir Putin. This personalisation ignores the fact that every country with a growth economy needs to expand.
        To gain control of markets, to gain control of the sources of raw materials, to deny their competitors control of these same markets and resources, to expand into every nook and cranny of the globe (and the environment). But infinite growth on a finite planet is impossible, sooner or later you wind up against natural or man made borders that put a limit on that growth. Humanity can obey these limits or try and force through them. Imposing war on the human world and biosphere collapse on the natural world as the result.

        P.S. P.S. It is true that there are partisan supporters of US imperialism on our side who ignore the crimes of US imperialism.
        Like their opposites on the other side, they ignore the root cause of imperialism because they gain from it. They know that New Zealand gains from being a junior partner of US imperialism and Western domination of the global markets and resources.

  2. Ad 2

    Labour and Greens pass – under urgency meaning no public debate – a special SOP clause entrenching public ownership of NZ water assets unless a government can muster 60% of Parliament.

    Great result but hate to see that kind of Parliamentary move practised by National against us. Helluva Parliamentary weapon.

    Sage, Eugenie – New Zealand Parliament (

    • Gabby 2.1

      Let's hope they repeatedly stress this when the right bang on about labour stealing 'our' (farmers') water.

      • Jenny are we there yet 2.1.1

        Now if the government use the same boldness to address the cost of living crisis with a GST tax cut – the crisis in our health system with a windfall tax on superprofits – the housing crisis with an empty homes tax. And other bold progressive measures to address inequality, Labour's victory in the election will be assured

        • Jenny are we there yet

          In for a penny in for a pound.

        • Jenny are we there yet

          In for a penny in for a pound.

          My concern here, is that because the Nacts have 'politicised' protecting our waterways; If this sort of bold legislating stops here, the elections will be fought over this sole issue. Conspiracy theories peppered with wild far right accusations against the government of being 'undemocratic'.

          We need to take a leaf out of the Right's playbook.

          Roger Douglas said I will give my opponents a moving target. And he did with a whirlwind of right wing enactments one after another.

          We need to do the same but with progressive left policies.

          Don't leave the Nacts with one target.

          We will need much more of this sort of bold legislative activism to address the multiple crise assailing this country and government.

          In for a penny in for pound.

      • Belladonna 2.1.2

        The two things are completely separate.

        The public perception is that the government is 'stealing our water' by removing it from local government ownership to some form of super-regional grouping – with multiple layers of bureaucracy, complete with the (highly controversial) co-governance provisions. [You can argue that this is not the reality, or that people's perception is wrong – but that's the way a large tranche of NZ perceives the issue]

        The fact that the government is now saying – oh, we won't let these new entities sell off the water to anyone else, is a completely separate issue.

        And this protection is really only required because of the consolidation of the water infrastructure into the super-regional groupings. One really can't imagine the local water infrastructure being sold off, if it remained in local Council ownership – it would be political suicide for the individual councillors.

        • SPC

          A council could say it would sell 50% ownership of water because it could not borrow the money required (debt cap) to invest to maintain quality of services – and it and the private equity partner would receive 50% of the water charge revenue (as the government does with power companies – with half ownership on the share market).

          What the government has done is guaranteed funding for water services without sale of assets.

          My guess is that Labour and Greens will cite the sale of half share of the power companies as why they did this. It is a challenge to National to engage on the issue because of the lack of local council capacity to raise finance to maintain water quality.

          Councils at this point have created water organisations without any idea of how to manage future funding cost.

          • Incognito

            I doubt that New Zealanders would like a repeat rort. However, people seem to have very short and selective memories.


            • Poission

              What rort,consumer are paying around the same as 2012,demand is little changed over the last decade,the only problem is they have not been repaying debt to sustain the tax offset in the dividend.

              • Incognito

                The rort as described in the linked Post.

                The readers of this site deserve an (better) explanation as to why you think that they pay the roughly same for power as 10 years ago. My power bill and unit price (kWh) certainly have gone up heaps over a decade.

                • Poission

                  The linked post said nothing about the pricing charged to consumers,that is an assumption that is not even wrong and repeated by yourself.

                  Your unit cost also includes the lines component (not the fixed charge) from Vector and transpower of around 11c a unit,and the generators have mostly absorbed the 1 billion plus in carbon taxes.demand has not effectively changed since 2012 in demand or generating capacity.

                  It is at odds with all the pricing data,from the regulators and monitoring such the EA,Mbie,and Transpower,three different regulators all coming to the same conclusion.

                  Energy affordability is a core pillar of the energy trilemma.Electrification is only likely to occur if electricity is affordable and competitive against other forms of energy.At a household level, the real average cost of electricity hasn’t changed much in the last decade: the average price per kWh decreased from $0.31 in 2012 to $0.30 in 2022. Over the same period, the average household consumption has fallen 4.6%. As
                  of March 2022, the average household uses 7,261 kWh per year,down from 7,609 in 2012. Consequently, the real average household bill has also decreased and is now $2,194 per year – a reduction of 5.9% since 2012.
                  However, whether these trends continue is uncertain: on 1 April 2022, the Government announced the phase out of the low user fixed charge tariff. In addition, household electricity consumption is likely to increase as electric vehicles become more common. Changes in consumption and cost trends will become evident in future data releases.


                  • Incognito

                    That’s a very helpful comment, thank you, although I found it hard to find the relevant part in your link. This is an easier example (and just a simple graph) that confirms your feedback:

                    • Poission

                      page 16 bottom left.

                    • Incognito []

                      Yes, thank you, I did find it, after some scrolling and speed-reading. I like my exemplar better 😉

                    • Poission

                      Yeah and it goes to show how susceptible people are to trojan numbers (showing something completely different from numerical reality) by the emphasis on the big number.

                    • Incognito []

                      I believed, actually I was quite convinced, that the unit price of generated electricity had gone up in addition to other (fixed) charges and it turns out I was wrong, which is good to know.

                    • Poission

                      The other good thing to know is demand (consumption) of electricity in NZ this year will be down around 1500 gwh,taking us back to consumption levels in 2005.

                      Increases going forward will be policy driven.

          • Belladonna

            Have local government ever sold off water infrastructure? Have they ever even proposed doing so?
            It seems to me, that the answer is firmly in the 'no' basket.

            The test case for this is Auckland – which is effectively already a super-regional body, after the super city amalgamation. Sale of water infrastructure has never even been on the horizon.

            For precisely the reasons I specified – that it would be political suicide for the councillors involved.

            Not to mention the fact that, for most councils, the water assets would have little value to a third party. It's only when amalgamated into these super-regional organizations, that they become attractive assets. Hence the perceived need for the government to enact this protective legislation.

            There are alternatives to completely financing water infrastructure through rates – apart from seizing the infrastructure and implementing a new bureaucracy. They don't, however, promote co-governance – so the Government is profoundly uninterested in them.

            As far as I can see, Watercare in Auckland, appear to have a fair grasp on managing future funding cost, as do Kapiti, and I'm quite sure others as well.

            Failure from one council (thinking of Wellington, here, who have zero excuse – as they're not a small rural council struggling with funding, but rather have one of the wealthiest rating bases in the country), is just that: failure from that council – which should be firmly punished at the ballot box. [As a side note, I'm going to be interested to see how Tory Whanau is going to tackle this issue]. It's not failure of the 'local control of water assets' model.

            As a principle, I'm in favour of local control of locally funded assets. I'm also in favour of cross-border collaboration, and of government support if/when needed (the NZTA model). All of those can happen without the 3 waters empire.

            • Shanreagh

              As far as I can see, Watercare in Auckland, appear to have a fair grasp on managing future funding cost, as do Kapiti, and I'm quite sure others as well.

              What makes you think Kapiti has anything to offer?

              I have property there. Many ratepayers funded, by separate targetted rates, an extension to the water supply and now pay for this again in our current rates. (My contribution was around $1500 in the 1990s.) The rates are very high, our water is metered and highly charged for with no free or uncharged for amount that would help larger families or people who have a disability or medical condition that requires that they use lots of water.

              Metered water is all very well but it does disadvantage those on low incomes, and those with health or disability conditions.

              And also I think I have it right that the KCDC had an idea, a few decades ago, to mix water from two rivers that was defeated on cultural grounds and we find later would not have worked anyway, $$$$ would have been wasted.

              I'd be happy to see your source for the glowing report about Kapiti.

    • Jenny are we there yet 2.2

      Legislating with Churchillian boldness to protect our waterways.

      Let National challenge it if they dare.

      The government are using their historic MMP super majority mandate to govern.

      To protect our waterways shoot from hip take no prisoners leadership is necessary.

    • Cricklewood 2.3

      Technically it just ads an extra step in that they would have to remove the requirement to have the 60% vote which just needs a simple majority.

      Big problem is if it becomes the norm it ties parliament in knots undoing say 3 strikes… that and it messes with convention given super majorities are only used for electoral arrangements.

      Pandoras box springs to mind.

      • Jenny are we there yet 2.3.1

        Pandora's box indeed.

        Like the nuclear free legislation, though National would dearly love to repeal it and on several occasions have even said they would, they have never dared.

        If these progressive policies prove to be popular with the public, even over the Nacts objections it will prove very difficult and unpopular for them to repeal them.

        • Cricklewood

          It's not so much about repealing it as a right govt using it widely and under urgency to entrench all sorts of legislation. The door is now open for that to happen.

        • RedLogix

          Like the nuclear free legislation, though National would dearly love to repeal it and on several occasions have even said they would, they have never dared.

          A good example of why legislation that gets 'locked in' cab be a bad idea. It isn't 1984 anymore and the ground has shifted. Nuclear power engineering continues to evolve and offers the safest, most reliable path toward de-carbonising our energy systems. A goal the Greens ostensibly support.

          Yet a piece of legislation from almost half a century ago stands in the way because they are so emotionally wedded to it.

          • Bearded Git

            Assuming storage technology continues to develop rapidly, solar offers the safest and cheapest future non-carbon power source.

            Nuclear, when the true costs of building nuclear plants (not the bollocks they quote to get the job) and the true costs of commissioning are built in, remains expensive and potentially dangerous…witness the war in Ukraine

            • tWiggle

              Add the even higher costs of decommisioning and waste…

            • RedLogix

              Nuclear, when the true costs of building nuclear plants (not the bollocks they quote to get the job) and the true costs of commissioning are built in, remains expensive

              Specifically what type of reactor and what regulatory regime are you talking about?

        • Belladonna

          If these progressive policies prove to be popular with the public

          There's a big 'if' there – so far the progressive policies have not been popular with the public.

          • DB Brown

            To be fair, the public hardly know WTF they're looking at after media have turned it into their typical dogs breakfast. Kneejerk Pavlovian press politics.

            • Belladonna

              You might also look at the p**-poor job that the Government have done over communication: 3 waters is just one example, there is a rolling-maul of government policies which have been poorly communicated.

              Ardern is excellent at the big picture stuff (a little too inclined to lecture, and stray off the topic, when it's a question she doesn't want to answer) – but her Comms degree stands her in good stead. She has a gift for arrowing in on a point which makes a difference to ordinary Kiwis.

              Mahuta is a disaster at communication (well, she may be good on the marae – but she's about 2/10 for Pakeha media). Faafoi was literally appalling (I can't believe he was a journalist, he was so bad). And Little appears to just get angry and dogmatic (for heaven’s sake, just admit there is a hospital staffing crisis, and be done with it)

              Kiri Allen is good, as are both Woods and Wood (though the policy u-turns that Wood has to front, don't help). Hipkins is reasonable, though rather too wedded to 'policy speak' instead of translating into soundbites. But there are a solid tranche of senior ministers, who are just really, really, bad at communicating government policy.

    • RedLogix 2.4

      Window dressing distraction from the reality that 3W gives effective control to an ethnic elite – a privatisation in all but name.

      I am now left to wonder if this new legislation -passed under urgency with no debate and implementing an extraordinary super-majority – will also have the probable effect of politically locking 3W into place.

      • Ad 2.4.1

        Given that supermajorities are only things we have put in place for stuff like

        must hold an election,

        must uphold electoral boundary changes, and the like,

        this kind of clause should best be debated in public whether it's good for the left or not.

        • Belladonna

          I certainly agree with that. Otherwise it makes a nonsense of entrenchment – and paves the way for 'entrenched' provisions to be repealed for political reasons.

          Which I think is a bad thing.

          I'm also not in favour of governments putting through controversial legislation under urgency. I know that both left and right have done so – and I disapprove of both.

          Proper debate on legislation – including committees and submissions – is a safeguard against bad law. By which I mean, not ethically bad, but poorly or ambiguously drafted, resulting in unintended consequences; very frequently wording is substantively tightened up in committee stage as the result of public submissions; and proper debate allows the pros and cons to be set out for the rest of NZ (the actual job of the MPs in the House)

          There is plenty of routine or widely supported legislation which could go through under urgency – but anything controversial, should not.

      • Binders full of Women 2.4.2

        It's 5Waters and it's gonna be a clusterfuck. Ngati Porou (NZ's 2nd biggest iwi?) submitted AGAINST as one of the 88,000 (mainly objection). Their rejection= there is no such thing as Te Ao Maori & Matauranga Maori. And trying to get consensus of even 5 iwi reps on boards from about 30 iwi in Entity C covering East Cape to Nelson (!?!) to the Chathams.

        • tinderdry6

          Can you provide a link to the Ngati Porou submission please.

        • Shanreagh

          The submission from Ngati Porou concludes:

          Ngāti Porou continue to assert our right to exercise Ngāti Poroutanga and Mātauranga Ngāti Porou within the Ngāti Porou rohe rather than generalised concepts of ‘Te Ao Māori’ and ‘Mātauranga Māori’.

          Ngāti Porou support the need for transformation in this area of law, noting that the status quo is inadequate and unacceptable. However, this Bill must be strengthened in order to achieve the transformation required.

          Reading through the submission I am finding it difficult to be as definite as you about the content of the submission. The submission carefully sets out the background for the wish of Ngati Porou to continue to exercise Ngati Poroutanga over water/s in their rohe. It makes the point that they do not agree with generalised "Maori' concepts. They do support the need for change.

          • Incognito


          • Tinderdry6

            I agree. But isn’t that a real problem with 3Waters? Ngati Porou have their own tikanga, their own principles. They have brought that to the management of natural resources like the Waiapu river, but as BFOW says, in their 3 Waters entity, won’t their voice in regards to those very same resources, be diluted?

            • Shanreagh

              Why do you believe this is a problem? And why do we believe there is a problem and that we can have a 'solution' if one is needed. I am confident that in suggesting the boundaries of the entities way, way back this would have been raised then.

              Are you 'clutching at straws' and 'putting up straw man arguments' for some reason?

              I am confident that these issues if they come to anything will be dealt with in positive ways by grown up people. Ngati Porou have indicated as much in the concluding para quoted above.


              status quo is unacceptable

              support the need for transformation

              support the need for the Bill to be strengthened

              I find your comment slightly paternalistic. Do you have the same concerns when new entities are set up in the Pakeha world? Don't we just accept that problems will be met when they arise, public bodies meetings act procedures and conflicts of interest registers will provide guidance if necessary etc.

              • tinderdry6

                "Why do you believe this is a problem? "

                Because this is precisely how powerful tribal interests overpower weaker ones. It's happening across Tāmaki Makaurau right now, and it is divisive and damaging to all people.

                "Do you have the same concerns when new entities are set up in the Pakeha world?"

                There is really no such thing as a 'pakeha world'. Pakeha are only rarely grouped together as a single homogenous people as Maori are. This is part of the injustice the crown continues to promulgate on Maori. Just look again at Tāmaki. Iwi fighting iwi through the courts to assert and challenge mana whenua status, all due to the crown failing to understand the complexities and tribal nature of Maori.

                "I am confident that these issues if they come to anything will be dealt with in positive ways by grown up people."

                I am not, and by way of example I point to the situation in Tāmaki between Maratuahu and Ngati Whatua, which is anything but 'grown up'.

                • Shanreagh

                  What about when groups like Federated Farmers are either represented on a board or committee or a farming group is on a board that has an urban as well as farming role. Sure there are differences of opinion but the groups manage to get together and make the decision that they believe is best for the region, group, etc. Then there are the differences of opinions between people with different land uses.

                  I don't think the Crown is putting the entities together with the idea that there will be quarrels over mana, roles etc. They have put groups together in regions so that the particular concerns re water are able to be listened to. They would be far from expecting a uniform view. They are being entrusted with the role to work to find the best for the waters in the region. What is best for that region or part of a region may not be looked on as being the best for another region.

                  I do not know enough about the Auckland situation to comment and I suspect you do not either. I think you are commenting on some outward manifestation of a disagreement as it looks like today.

                  I have not read anything from you that this current outward manifestation has a historical basis and what this basis is. For example some overlapping rohe are due to the freeze on boundaries at the Treaty time perpetuating different boundaries, or not recognising that there may have been allegiances to other tribal groups outside the rohe and the situation is fluid……in other words you are putting a pakeha spin on what seems to be current history.

                  If say you lived in Belgium and had a role in Govt it would be the kiss of death if you did not understand the back story/history of the Flemish people and the Walloons. Even people who move there today learn about the two differing 'parts' of their country. It is not seen as a weakness to possibly have differing views.

                  Intermarriage between Flemish and Walloons is low. Nor do they clash. They keep themselves to themselves. The big exception is Brussels and its outlying districts, where the two cultures rub up against one another.



                  I would give your views & concerns a bit more credence if you were able to say……

                  Tāmaki between Maratuahu and Ngati Whatua 'and this will have had its genesis in the …….. of …….'.

                  I am not sure if both groups have had a treaty claim completed etc etc. The Water entity that these tribes belong to has other groups as well. If this fighting persists into a different situation ie the water situation there are enough Maori/people of mana who would work behind the scene to get the groups together to work something out or to say 'pull your head in' and be listened to.

                  Having had experience with Maori groups in two facets of my working life in two very different spheres heath and lands going back 30 or so years I can confidently say that the decisions that came out after representation was widened were streets ahead of those decisions that went before.

                  Something had to be done about water.

                  As long as the groups are able to settle down and do their work for a period of time then I foresee good things going forward. If this turns into a political football like education and health have at previous elections then we will be mired in some less than optimum arrangement that won't improve anything.

                  • tinderdry6

                    You appear to have a profoundly rose tinted view of iwi politics and how it is manipulated by the crown.

                    "I do not know enough about the Auckland situation to comment and I suspect you do not either."

                    I am close to the situation in Auckland, and I happen to know the situation between Tāmaki Collective iwi is prearious, and the government is culpable.

                    "I am not sure if both groups have had a treaty claim completed etc etc. The Water entity that these tribes belong to has other groups as well."

                    You strike right at the heart of one of the issues dividing Tāmaki iwi. Some have settled, some haven't. There is even division within individual iwi about this process.

                    "They have put groups together in regions so that the particular concerns re water are able to be listened to. "

                    Yes, but individual iwi are already engaged in this process with their local councils. It is inevitable that powerful elites will govern over those already doing the work.

                    "I am not sure if both groups have had a treaty claim completed etc etc."

                    Maratuahu is an iwi collective that is dominated by Hauraki power elites within Ngati Maru. They have used smaller iwi to gain a foothold in Tāmaki, and to assert their power to the detriment of iwi with much stronger mana whenua claims. This has all been aided and abetted by the crown, particularly under the last national government. It is a window into all that can go wrong when iwi groups are muscled into large collectives, particularly when substantial natural resources are involved.

                    • Shanreagh

                      Rose tinted or on the ground experience? I'm opting for on the ground experience as I stated before, or perhaps I am an optimist!

                      Having had experience with Maori groups in two facets of my working life in two very different spheres heath and lands going back 30 or so years I can confidently say that the decisions that came out after representation was widened were streets ahead of those decisions that went before.

                  • tinderdry6

                    "Rose tinted or on the ground experience? "

                    All good. As I've said before, I respect your experience, even if we disagree. Have a great day.

      • swordfish 2.4.3

        Red (@ 2.4)

        Hit the nail squarely on the head.

        The relatively small cadre of Noble Savage Paternalists, Critical Theory Cult members (and their [rather more numerous] opportunistic fellow-travellers) are nothing if not profoundly anti-democratic … but, you see, it's "all in a good cause" … and, after all, affluent upper-middle professionals “know best”.

      • SPC 2.4.4

        I am now left to wonder if this new legislation … will also have the probable effect of politically locking 3W into place.

        Given it's only political theatre, no.

    • Tinderdry6 2.5

      Meh, governments have always done sneaky stuff like that. Bad law making to effect bad policy (3Waters generally).

      [you made a typo in your e-mail address that triggered Auto-Moderation. Please be more careful next time – Incognito]

    • alwyn 2.6

      So it's a great result if your side do it but it would be terrible if someone with different political ideas did the same?

      You're behaving like those people who claim to be in favour of free speech only when the person is saying something they agree with. When they hear something they don't like they want them shut out of the conversation.

      In this case what makes you think that those people on the right of New Zealand politics would do this? The only ones in favour of this sort of thing, at least in the last 50 or so years in our country, have been those who still think that Stalin and Mao were wonderful paragons of virtue.

    • Mike the Lefty 2.7

      Labour should do the same for other assets, such as KiwiRail.

      The ACT party will have been salivating at the thought of the billions they could get by selling off water assets to foreign (probably mostly Chinese) companies when National give them a free hand to plunder the few remaining state assets when/if they win next year.

      Ain't life a bitch, David?

  3. Sanctuary 3

    More political symbolism than anything though? You can just repeal the entrenching clause with a simple majority, then repeal the public ownership clause. I guess the point is to make the fuckers explicitly repeal public ownership protection if they want to privatize.

    • Jenny are we there yet 3.1

      With human beings perception is everything.

      Symbolism is important.

      • Belladonna 3.1.1

        Maybe – but rushing it through under urgency, with no debate – highlights a strategy for a future right government, to do exactly the same thing. Either reversing this – or 'entrenching' their own legislation.

        Rushing it through has also not resulted in any media coverage. As far as I can see, it's not covered in either the Herald or Stuff – so the press release from Sage that was linked. was the first I'd heard of it.

        It's pretty difficult to regard something as symbolic, if no one knows about it.

        National have already announced that they'd repeal 3 waters (you can believe them, or not – but it's a policy plank) – if this provision is embedded in the 3 waters legislation – it'll simply get repealed along with the rest.

        • Nic the NZer

          I believe provisions requiring a super majority can usually only be repealed via such a super majority vote.

          • Belladonna

            No. It was covered up thread – by Sanctuary & Cricklewood.

            It simply requires a 2-bites-to the-cherry process. First remove the clause requiring a super-majority (which only requires a majority), and then remove the legislation, which no longer has a super-majority clause.

            There is, of course, the possibility that this prevention of sale with a super-majority clause, is not part of the 3 waters legislation – and is a separate Act on its own.
            In which case, with the repeal of 3 waters (under a future right government), it would be an orphan. Preventing the sale of assets, by organizations which no longer own the asset, and potentially no longer exist.

            If that is the case, I don’t think that the right government would cause even a ripple by repealing it.

        • pat

          It is worth noting that one of the features of 3 Waters is the entities ability to raise capital at a (supposed) lower premium….but that capital (debt) will need to be secured against the assets.

          Ultimately it will need to be guaranteed by the Government (taxpayers) which shows the farce the whole reform is….the needed improvements should simply be funded directly by central gov and get rid of all the window-dressing costs.

          • Poission

            They have actually fucked up the legislation,as the infrastructure cannot be used as a security against a loan,there were significant issues raised against the model by S&P, (the other agencies awaiting legislation b4 producing a note hence watch only).

            This raises the questions of who is the owner,and who raises debt.


            • RedLogix

              Very good point. The reason why govt borrows cheaper than everyone else is not because of their asset base – which as S&P realised cannot be used as security – but because of their sovereign ability to tax.

              Reflecting on this, I might imagine the big funders might look at who is controlling these assets, setting the budgets under 3W legislation, and decide the risk is rather higher than they are comfortable with.

              • Poission

                The big funders already declined housing corp,which is why it is now being funded directly out of the government books,(funders have long memories and NZ has already seen default by an SOE).

              • SPC

                Governments tax, providers charge for services.

                • Poission

                  Who owns the debt? and the infrastructure?

                  • SPC

                    If the government ability to tax to pay the cost of debt is a thing, so is the providers capacity to charge to do the same.

                    So I suppose you are asking, if the party borrowing the money (and holding existing debt) is the one in charge of setting the price and collecting money.

                    The key part then is certainty, such as government guarantee.

                    PS If the infrastructure is not going to be ever sold, does that part matter?

                    • Poission

                      No investor is going to lend to an entity where the ownership of the assets are unsure,and no rating agency will provide a rating where ownership is unsure.

                      Who owns the infrastructure,and who is responsible for the debt?

                    • SPC

                      TMH – They, those who lend, will only lend to those whose assets they can take (thus only lend up to the value of the assets).

                      Alice – I have a credit card and no assets, coz I have a job that pays me money and if I do not use it to pay the card debt I get a bad credit rating.

            • pat

              Exactly…and why if any borrowing is to occur it will have to be guaranteed by the Government.

              The whole 3 Waters story is a crock

              • Poission

                The debt will have to lie on the government books,without the assets.The entity whatever it is there is no placement ( local authority,SOE,company government department etc) significant problems with remedies such as tort,as it may not even exist.

                • pat

                  So the purpose of setting up the entities with all of the initial and ongoing costs is what?….politics.

                  And who pays for it?….those who have been told the purpose is to reduce the cost.


                  • Poission

                    Someones idea at a group think retreat,where the narrative is being spun to fit the thinking.There is no efficiency,and it is a cost plus model,that will always be searching for funding mostly for wages for the unemployable elite ( aka as diselected list MP'S )

          • Belladonna

            I agree that a mechanism similar to roading under NZTA with costs/responsibilities split between local and government – would have been a much lower cost and less controversial solution.

            No one is arguing that some councils need assistance – whether that's with expertise or funding – in order to effectively manage their water assets.

            Some (Wellington comes to mind) appear to need to have national water infrastructure standards in place – since it has apparently been too easy for them to defer maintenance/replacement in favour of funding for more politically-driven projects.

            It is difficult to see the logical reasoning behind the collection of assets into super-regional groupings, which have nothing to do with watersheds or other geographical features (one crosses the Cook Strait!); this seems to have been entirely driven by their co-governance ideology.

            However, this solution of a NZ Water Authority (setting standards, co-funding major infrastructure, and supplying planning expertise to water-asset-owning local governments) would not have had the 'benefit' of applying the co-governance provisions of He puapua – which, it seems that Labour have signed up to, without campaigning on.

            And, I suspect this kind of central-local government partnership, was what most people had in mind, when they read the provision in the Labour 2020 manifesto

            “Labour will reform New Zealand’s drinking water
            and waste water system and upgrade water
            infrastructure to create jobs across the country.”


            I really don’t think that anyone envisaged removal of water assets from local government, multiple layers of bureaucracy and co-governance.

            • Ad

              Anyone within a hundred kilometre radius of the consultation would have known asset removal and a new bureaucracy were coming.

              You don't have to ask Groundswell. You could also ask Watercare, DairyNZ, DCANZ, Fonterra, Synlait, Massey Uni, AgResearch, anyone at Lincoln, LGNZ, Irrigation NZ, Ngai Tahu Holdings, and anyone else with a reasonable agribusiness presence in Wellington.

              • I seriously dispute this.
                I don't think that anyone knew prior to the 2020 election, exactly what the Government's plans were.

                And they most certainly did not lay it out clearly for the electorate at that time.

                Yes, there has been subsequent consultation…. that, however, does not make a mandate.

          • Tinderdry6

            Yep, but why choose a more effective solution when you can spend billions on something completely unnecessary?

            • Ad

              Who would you trust long term to keep water assets locally owned?

              Would you trust a central government owned entity under National to keep it? If anyone remembers the Key government.

              Indeed would you trust a central government owned entity under Labour to keep it? If anyone remembers the Lange government.

              Would you trust an NZ-listed corporation to keep it here? If anyone remembers what occurred to our sharemarket in the early 1990s.

              Who are the only people that invest in this country with a 1000-year return period?

              • alwyn

                "Who are the only people that invest in this country with a 1000-year return period?".

                Why don't you answer your own question? Who do you think really does that?

              • tinderdry6

                "Who would you trust long term to keep water assets locally owned?"

                No-one, really. But the best way to at least beat the odds is to have the decisions made by those closest to democratic accountability, which is certainly not the new water entities.

                "Who are the only people that invest in this country with a 1000-year return period?"

                Who are these people? There is certainly no-one in this country with a 1000 year history of managing water resources as they currently exist.

                • Robert Guyton

                  "There is certainly no-one in this country with a 1000 year history of managing water resources as they currently exist."

                  Best un-statement of the year!

              • pat

                It matters not who you trust….if you wish to borrow you have to agree to the terms the lender offers…..irrespective of who you are.

                And nobody is going to lend billions unsecured

              • Chess Player

                The Chinese

    • Ad 3.2

      It's hard to say they don't have the electoral mandate for 3 Waters reform, so all power to them.

      Even John Key had to push through his 51% asset selloff in the teeth of a very large and well organised referendum, because it was done in full public and parliamentary view (now I'll just go back to my library and re-read the 1987 Labour manifesto 🙂 .

      • DB Brown 3.2.1

        There were 300 000 signatures opposing asset sales. Wherein we got screwed royally, and now they're running down the assets to pay out to shareholders.

        Opposition to 3 waters has been a highly politicised pack of press sound bites and barely concealed racist fearmongering signifying nothing but contempt for truth, Maori and current government. There is no comparison, only a simpering sycophantic press beholden to corporate plunder.

        • weka

          there are solid rationales for not supporting 3 waters, that have nothing to do with racism or anti-Labour sentiment. One of which is the insistence of Labour and the left that any opposition is morally bankrupt. This isn't so much seeding division, as throwing bucketloads of compost on the already thriving saplings.

          It feels like third term Clark government in terms of contempt for the people. If Ardern's Labour were 8 years in, sure, try and get as much passed as possible. But 5 years in?

          • tinderdry6

            I don't disagree with your comments at all, but here's another angle. Any government wishing to achieve meaningful reform is constrained by a three year parliamentary term, which abbreviates consultation, the crafting of laws and the passage of those laws through the parliamentary process. I am opposed to the 3waters reform for a number of reasons, and no amount of time will necessarily change a governments ideological position, but a longer governance term would at least allow for better law making.

            • weka

              it's tricky. We can look at the UK as an example of the problems with a 5 year term for instance. If the NZ norm is three terms, imagine Nact being in power for 15 years.

              I think there are better ways to mend democracy. Once would be to start a shift to participatory democracy. While I appreciate that Labour didn't have a lot of time (mainly because of the pandemic) to consult well on 3W, I think the problem is that Labour is ideologically opposed to such. They are old school neoliberalised, which means they're parental rather than sisterly. This is certainly how 3W has come across: 'we know what is best, we will figure how how to get you to behave the way we want'.

              (yes, yes Labourites, #notallLabour).

          • Ad

            Luxon is working for the agribusiness lobby which has opposed every single piece of environmental management that this government put up. Unpriced unregulated water is the core profit centre of dairy, which in turn is our number one export.

          • tsmithfield

            I agree with you Weka. One of the issues is that the government has been portraying the situation as binary, so that those opposing 3 Waters must by default be in favour of the status quo, and therefore continuing the current uncoordinated shambles of water management.

            However, the binary proposition is not at all accurate, and there are likely other viable options to achieve the goals of 3 Waters.

            • Robert Guyton

              Is the current management of water an uncoordinated shambles?

              Is the Government claiming it is that?

              • weka

                lots of things have become an uncoordinated shambles under neoliberalism. I haven't seen Labour taking responsibility for their part in that, but the issue is more that Labour decided what to do and then told us. Many of us could have predicted that trying to dictate such changes would be met with resistance. Why not bring people along instead?

        • swordfish


          barely concealed racist fearmongering signifying nothing but contempt for truth, Maori …

          Spare me your wild-eyed bully-boy character assassination of a hefty majority of the New Zealand public you self-centered, self-righteous authoritarian prig. When you radically redefine terms like racist, weaponising them with a view to closing down all political debate around highly controversial major reforms then those terms rapidly lose all their force.

          Oh and try not to confuse Corporate Iwi with Maori in general, sweetpea.

          • DB Brown

            Sad old man.

          • Robert Guyton

            "sweat pea"?

            Not, "son"

            Why not?

            Good enough for John Key.

          • Shanreagh

            @ Swordfish

            Good grief.

            Oh and try not to confuse Corporate Iwi with Maori in general, sweetpea

            And now trying to comment on things Maori. The idea that there are a whole bunch of Maori who do not or cannot whakapapa back to their eponymous ancestor or know where to go to get to know this is really a myth. There just are not Iwi and the rest. Groupings had to set themselves up if they wanted to have Treaty issues identified recognised and settled. These same groupings received any settlement monies.

            Ngai Tahu for instance had set themselves up years before their claim and had school/university scholarships for the children/young adults from very early on. No doubt they fall into your category of 'Corporate Iwi'.

            This invective or poison pen cannot be good to write, it is certainly horrible to read such bitterness.

        • Louis

          yes DB Brown.

        • Jenny are we there yet

          As I wrote earlier up the thread, the government need to give their opponents a lot more moving targets to divide their focus. If the election is focused on this heavily 'politicised' issue Labour will lose the election


      • weka 3.2.2

        It's hard to say they don't have the electoral mandate for 3 Waters reform, so all power to them.

        It's pretty easy to say. If they had a mandate, there wouldn't be protest from councils and from across the political spectrum.

        • Ad

          Just flat wrong.

          The government has consulted to death with local government, and there is no part of the mandate for the legislation that needed to be provided by local government.

          • weka

            this is why we have such a poor form of democracy. Just don't complain if Labour lose the election next year.

            • Ad

              You talk such fact-free crap. We are and remain one of the most democratic countries on earth.

              The Greens are thankfully standing with the Maori caucus of Labour.

              • weka

                lol. This is like people who argue that NZ farming is the best in the world for climate. It's a very low bar (and it's a stupid comparison).

                If NZ has a better form of poor democracy than most other countries doesn't mean that we don't have a poor form of democracy. It's not a difficult concept to understand.

      • Belladonna 3.2.3

        I don't know that they have a mandate for this reform.

        No denying that the 2020 election brought in the LP with an unprecedented and overwhelming majority.

        However, their 2020 manifesto simply stated:

        “Labour will reform New Zealand’s drinking water and waste water system and upgrade water infrastructure to create jobs across the country.”

        It was entirely silent on co-governance – which has emerged as a significant government policy plank.

        I really don’t think that anyone envisaged removal of water assets from local government, multiple layers of bureaucracy and co-governance – from the above policy statement.

        • Incognito

          It was entirely silent on co-governance – which has emerged as a significant government policy plank.

          Not quite, although it was not explicitly stead and spelt out, the seeds & spirit were already there, of course:

          Our Māori Manifesto sets out our commitment to continuing on the partnership path with Māori and looks to take bolder steps to create the change we need to finally realise the promise of Te Tiriti – Governance, Rangatiratanga and equality for all.

          [see also]

          • Anker

            I think Labour set out a principle there Incognito, they don't actually say what they would do. I don’t think it is realistic for voters to think “what if commitment to partnership means giving Maori soverign authority over water? what if they include geothermal water and coastal water, when this legislation is suppose to be about water supply?”

            Lack of transparency.


            This is an interesting question posed by Chris Trotter. Why are Labour prepared to die in a ditch for this piece of legislation?

            It also seems now it is five waters as coastal water and geothermal water has been added to the legislation. Even Megan Woods Minister of Energy was surprized to hear about geothermal.

            Why does this legislation need to be rushed through under urgency?

            • Incognito

              I have no idea where the quoted text comes from because it is not in the piece by Trotter that you linked to!? In any case, it complete and utter BS because to state, even hypothetically, “partnership means giving Maori soverign [sic] authority” is the worst kind of counter-propaganda one could think of.

              Trotter has dug up a hill so that he can bark at it and scent-mark by lifting up his Right leg. His only achievement is adding more confusion to the pile and he should know better but yet he does what he does, which begs the question as to why he does it? Is he a useful idiot, a pawn, or a puppet master?

          • RedLogix

            The problem with that bit of manifesto fluff is that it could mean almost anything in practice. And worse still govt media funding rules ensure there can be no public debate on the topic that is not pre-approved by the govt.

            What New Zealanders almost certainly did not sign up for however, is the separate development path this Maori caucus are taking us down.

            • Incognito

              I can link that ‘fluff’ to Three Waters, retrospectively, of course.

              I was not aware that NZ media couldn’t discuss legislation that’s under (active) consideration by Parliament. In any case, I see plenty of ‘debate’.

              Anybody who argues that Three Waters came out of nowhere is either naïve and ignorant or takes their cues from propagandist such as Groundswell and other subversive parties who scream theft, stealing, and secrecy without transparency and consultation.

              For the record, I am quite uncomfortable with the bilateral Pākehā-Māori dichotomy that seems to dominate all discourse and even the hapless PR efforts coming from Government.

              • RedLogix

                For the record, I am quite uncomfortable with the bilateral Pākehā-Māori dichotomy that seems to dominate all discourse

                So am I.

                • Incognito

                  I would like to see it be taken further, changed, and improved. Many others want it gone by lunch time and for it to never resurface again, ever.

          • ianmac

            “The Government is not proposing co-governance. Regional planning committees will have a legal minimum of two Māori representatives. Local councils and Māori in a region can then agree on whether they want more.”

            So says David Parker in relation to the reforming of the RMA. He talks about resisting the pressure for the 50:50 representations.

            Will his caution transfer into the 3Waters? What if consultation with Iwi was reduced but still important?


          • alwyn

            That reads very nicely until you get to the last few words.

            " equality for all".

            Really? They certainly don't seem to mean all the people of New Zealand do they?

        • Ad

          The scale of consultation both this term and last term is massive.

          You would need to be living under a rock to not have the opportunity to make a submission, and over multiple years.

        • Louis

          Prior to the 2020 election.

          Three Waters Review

          "The Review, beginning in mid-2017, ran in parallel to the latter stages of the Government Inquiry into Havelock North Drinking Water, which was set up following the campylobacter outbreak in 2016. Up to 5500 people were ill as a result and four people are thought to have died from associated causes"

          "The Three Waters Review was published in January 2019"

          "In 2019, the Sixth Labour Government announced plans for regulatory changes in response to the Three Waters Review"

          "On 28 January 2020, Nanaia Mahuta, the Minister of Local Government, released Cabinet papers and minutes setting out intentions for reform of service delivery and funding arrangements for the three waters services nationwide"

          Three Waters Reform Programme

          • alwyn

            Why do you not quote the following line out of the Wiki article.

            "Details of the proposed reforms were announced in October 2021". That is when we first found out what they had in mind. It is surely not a coincidence that it was long after the 2020 election and until then almost no members of the general public were aware of what was being planned.

          • Belladonna

            If the only thing that you can actually point to, prior to the 2020 election is Mahuta's paper to the Cabinet – which is the most impenetrable bureaucratese – and certainly not understandable by ordinary voters – I don't think that you have a strong case for 'everyone knew'

            Yes. People knew that some kind of water reform was on the cards – in some areas. They certainly didn't have any inkling that it would involve mandatory removal of water assets from local councils, implementation of a vast new bureaucracy (with minimal democratic control), and co-governance.

            None of which was part of the Labour manifesto in 2020. Don't you think that such a radical change *should* have been put to the public?

            IIRC – it was only after the election that Mahua revealed that she'd lied to the local Councils, and there was no option for them to 'opt out'

            And, there was certainly no co-governance outlined prior to the 2020 election. Whether you believe Willie Jackson & Ardern that this wasn't deliberate – is up to you.


            • Louis

              You can believe whatever you want Belladonna. The information was put out publicly prior to the 2020 election see


              8 JULY 2020 New water services bill for safe drinking water


              "Labour will reform New Zealand’s drinking water and waste water system and upgrade water infrastructure to create jobs across the country"


              "Councils had been given the right to opt out of the reforms, but after councils largely opposed the reforms as proposed, Mahuta last week made them mandatory, saying they were a "quantum shift in the way water services are delivered" which would require every council to be involved"


              • Oh. Please link to the information prior to the election in 2020 – where Labour proposed to remove water assets from Council control, and implement co-governance within the resulting water ownership agencies.

                I know you can't – because Labour was very careful not to spell out the specifics of the proposal. He puapua, the co-governance agenda, was carefully hidden, not only from the public, but from their coalition partner. Labour never released any information about how they proposed to upgrade water systems and infrastructure – until well after the election – you'd think if it was such a "quantum shift" they'd have campaigned on the change.

                Your own quote shows that Mahuta lied to Councils about their ability to opt out.

                Your first link is only to the establishment of the (entirely uncontroversial) water regulation agency. The one which National, at least (I don't know what ACT's policy is) have committed to retain. It has nothing to do with shifting water asset control away from local bodies, or with co-governance – the two highly controversial aspects of the 3 (now, apparently 5) waters legislation.

                • Louis

                  I have linked to the 'information prior to the election in 2020' which includes "the local government sector, water stakeholders and iwi/Māori will have ample opportunity to consider the detail of the Bill"

                  The Minster did not lie. The link explains why it became mandatory.

                  Water assets have not been removed from council control.

                  "Councils will collectively own the water services entities providing services for their district, on behalf of their communities"


                  Winston Peters cannot feign ignorance, he was one of the cabinet ministers that agreed to the formation of a working group

                  "In August 2019, the Declaration Working Group (DWG) was established by the Labour – New Zealand First government"


                  It's not 5 waters and Co-governance is not new. The previous Key National govt had a number of co-governance arrangements, so does the Christchurch council for example. imo those who oppose co-governance, like the opposition that had no issue with it under National, are racebaiting.

                  • Incognito

                    It’s not 5 waters and Co-governance is not new.

                    Indeed. Three Waters is in full progress but Co-Governance has been put on ice for more engagement.


                    This is recommendable and laudable because we cannot make decisions collectively if/when we don’t understand each other.

                    • RedLogix

                      From that same article:

                      Seymour says most New Zealanders want to see Māori culture and language thrive and past wrongs addressed, but he doesn’t believe that is what UNDRIP is trying to achieve.

                      “UNDRIP is fundamentally at odds with a democratic nation state. It says Indigenous people have the right to fully participle in the affairs of a nation state, which we agree with.

                      “Then it says they have the right to opt out and effectively run a separate jurisdiction,” he says.

                      “The whole of UNDRIP is founded on that fundamental contradiction.”

                      And frankly this is core problem a large majority of New Zealanders have when they see the words 'de-colonisation' and 'co-governance'. The only document in the public domain that spelled out what what this might mean in practice is Hepuapu – yet while the govt denied it was policy to our faces, it proceeded to implement important aspects of it anyway.

                      Then if anyone objects to this wholesale re-writing of the New Zealand constitutional foundation, and the renaming of government departments and placenames, all with zero consultation much less democratic accountability – we are openly abused as racists, red-necks or white supremacists.

                      Voters might not understand all the nuances – but we know when we are being gaslighted.

                    • pat

                      "This is recommendable and laudable because we cannot make decisions collectively if/when we don’t understand each other."

                      Its laudable and recommended not so much because we "dont understand each other" but rather because those driving the change out of the public gaze have yet to explain the practicalities of their position and how it is supposed to operate in a democracy….

                      likely for the simple reason they are unable to.

                    • Louis

                      Redlogix He PuaPua is a discussion document.

                      The authors said "disappointed at coverage of the report being focused primarily on what are perceived as “bigger controversial ideas” and not necessarily on the wide range of proposals within the document"

                      "the group’s role was to put down a number of ideas that would enable, or encourage, further discussion.

                      “It was never meant to be government policy by any means,” she says. “It was meant to be more of a conversation starter.’’


                    • RedLogix

                      … He PuaPua is a discussion document.

                      Which does not explain why so many important parts of it have become become the defacto direction of this govt's policy with remarkably little discussion.

                    • Incognito []

                      That’s textbook reductionism and binary logic resulting in false dichotomies and other flawed logic.

                      He Puapua does not exist in isolation nor does it draw sharp borders. Essentially, you’re arguing that this Government is ignoring its Treaty obligations “with remarkably little discussion”. Of course, this is nonsense.

                    • Louis

                      Redlogix. Pretty much in line with the 2020 manifesto, for example, establishing a Māori Health Authority.

                    • RedLogix


                      He Puapua does not exist in isolation nor does it draw sharp borders. Essentially, you’re arguing that this Government is ignoring its Treaty obligations

                      He Puapua is not about the Treaty of Waitangi obligations. It is a response to the UNDRIP agreement, whose origins lay in the need to address the obvious vulnerability of isolated, barely uncontacted groups of indigenous people who lacked effective access to civil rights and legal status. This was, and remains a worthy and legitimate cause.

                      The problem is that Maori are arguably not an indigenous people in a legal sense. The primary effect of the Treaty of Waitangi was to give them full status and civil rights as citizens of the British Empire almost two centuries ago; a status subsequently transferred to the Crown.

                      As Seymour points out the UNDRIP agreement attempts to unravel this status by allowing Maori to rip up the Treaty of Waitangi, opt out of their citizenship of the New Zealand state, and set up a separate jurisdiction. This might well be stating the case bluntly, but is consistent with the tenor and direction of the not only the more vocal Maori ethno-nationalists, but stated Maori Party policy and public statements.

                    • Incognito []

                      He Puapua is not about the Treaty of Waitangi obligations.

                      Only in a reductionist binary world view could this be accurate and you are confirming my previous comment.

                      A Declaration plan is also an opportunity to work in partnership with Māori and report on how the Government is fulfilling its obligations under Te Tiriti o Waitangi and its corresponding aspirations in the Declaration.


                  • tinderdry6

                    "The Minster did not lie. "

                    The original plan was for Council's to opt in or out. When it became obvious the whole scheme was wildly unpopular, the Minister reneged. I guess you’re allowed to break a promise when your golden idea is tanking.

                    But then after Cabinet agreed to compulsion, they "kept councils guessing for months about whether they would be forced into Three Waters reforms, having already agreed to pursue such a strategy,"

                    Blatantly bad faith consultation. Do you ever wonder why an allegedly good idea has had so much deception in its promotion and passage?

                  • So, first Mahuta said Councils could opt out, and then, when it became apparent that many of them wanted to do just that, she reversed herself and said it was mandatory. That's a lie in my book. Or does 'optional' mean 'so long as you choose they way I want you to'?

                    I said control, not ownership. The two are quite different (according to the 3 waters proponents … there are different perspectives).
                    The whole argument for 3 waters is that the proponents believe that Councils can't be trusted with water infrastructure. That's why it's being removed from their control.

                    Winston Peters has claimed consistently that he had no knowledge of He puapua. And that's been confirmed by Willie Jackson – in a rather smug self-congratulatory comment.


                    I've made no comment on whether co-governance is new or not (again, opinions vary). I have said that Labour did not make it clear that the new water entities would be co-governed – before the 2020 election. Still waiting for your evidence to prove this wrong.

                    5 waters. Really. Now including coastal and geothermal water – rolled in at virtually the last moment.


                  • Louis

                    Circumstances changed.

                    "The vast majority of councils have expressed some opposition to the reforms and Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta has been considering councils' feedback after consultation with the sector closed early this month.

                    Councils' opposition ranges from concerns about the management model of the entities and calls for the reforms to be delayed, through to total opposition to the legislative changes.

                    Having considered the feedback, Mahuta today confirmed councils would be required to take part in the reforms, with all entities to be operational by 1 July 2024.

                    "This is an all-in approach that will require legislation and it will require every council to be a part of a quantum shift in the way that water services are delivered.

                    "The legislation is a mandated decision."


                    • The only "circumstance" which changed was the Councils saying – 'no'.

                      Mahuta was unable to accept this, and reneged on the explicit and implicit understanding that they could opt out.

                      Now, maybe she was foolish to give them that option. Or believed that she could effectively sway (not to say bribe) them to support her proposal. Or any other combination of factors which made her believe that no councils would take up that option.

                      But, her reaction when they did, made it clear that it was never a 'real' choice. She lied, when she said that it was.

                    • tinderdry6

                      "Circumstances changed."

                      Yes. The Councils saw through the the insulting and patronising $3.5m advertising campaign (which was cut short after invention by the PSC), the nonsense of the WICS modelling and all the other disingenuous bs and said 'no thanks'.

                      I'm not so sure Mahuta lied, or whether she just badly misread the room.

                    • Louis

                      Already been covered Belladonna, you can make up what you want.

                    • Louis

                      That's your opinion tinderdry6.

                    • Nope. Not covered – the links you provided don't show anything like what you are claiming.


                      • Link to a pre-2020 election statement from Labour that they proposed to remove water assets from Council control into 4 regional agencies.
                      • Link to a pre-2020 election statement from Labour that those regional water agencies would be co-governed.

                      They knew that both of those choices were highly controversial (or had the potential to be so) – and deliberately didn't campaign on them.

                      I might also ask for a link for pre-2020 election statement that the shift in control of water assets to the regional agencies would be mandatory (rather than optional). But we've already established that Mahuta reversed her policy over this – well after the election – so you certainly won't find one.

                      The person who is making up stories – is you.

                    • Louis

                      The topic has been well traversed Belladonna, you only want to believe in your own opinions.

                    • All I'm asking for is links.

                      The fact that you can't provide them, gives me excellent reason to believe that you've just made this story up – because it suits your 'Labour is always justified' narrative.

                      Feel free (as I can see that you do) to believe whatever you want.

                      But, you haven't convinced anyone else.

                      I feel that this conversation is just about played out.

                    • Louis

                      Links are included in the posts. Not my problem that you choose not to accept them. That's entirely up to you. It was never about convincing anyone. The thread was finished a while back, you just carried it on because it was all about what you thought.

                • Louis

                  "The one which National, at least (I don't know what ACT's policy is) have committed to retain"

                  Which is what?

                  "they're going to repeal and replace. With what? It's a very simple question—a question that has been posed for four years. What are they going to replace it with? They have no ideas. They have no policies. That is not a debating point..that is a matter of fact"


                  • I'm talking about the, entirely uncontroversial, "Taumata Arowai", tasked with establishing, monitoring and enforcing water quality standards (taking over from the MoH).

                    That was the bill from mid 2020 that you linked to. Nothing to do with the subsequent 3 waters legislation (well, apart from both being 'water')

                    National have repeatedly committed to retaining this – and practical solutions – as outlined below. What they don't support is a layer of unnecessary bureaucracy, and a co-governance model – which means that the new water agencies have nothing to do with natural watersheds (one crosses the Cook Strait, for heavens sake!) – but are constructed around iwi – i.e. accidents of history, rather than geography)

                    National has supported the new water regulator, Taumata Arowai, and we would back practical solutions like co-investment and funding partnerships with central government, and incentivising collaboration between councils. But we just can’t support change being forced on communities.


                    You may not like their solutions – but you can't deny that they've given some. Unlike, I may point out, Labour prior to the 2020 election.

                    • Louis

                      We are going around in circles here, it's been covered in previous posts.

                      Taumata Arowai and councils will be working together.

                      "We will work collaboratively across Aotearoa including with whānau hapū and iwi Māori, Crown entities (such as the Ministry for the Environment, Ministry of Health and Department of Internal Affairs), public health units (PHUs) along with regional, city and district councils, drinking water suppliers, water management companies and all people of Aotearoa"


                      As previously noted National do not have any solutions, they have already walked back on co-funding.

                      "Let's take their point of view that was stated today—that they're going to repeal and replace. With what? It's a very simple question—a question that has been posed for four years. What are they going to replace it with? They have no ideas. They have no policies. That is not a debating point, Mr Speaker; that is a matter of fact. As I was going through the first reading speeches, I came up with an absolute doozy from Matt Doocey—a Doocey doozy. He promised in his first reading speech that the National Party will co-fund this required investment. He said it once and once only. He contributed to the second reading debate, he contributed to the committee of the whole House, and he contributed again today. Did he say it? Did he say it—my foot. Someone got in his ear and said that what he had just committed the National Party to was a $92.5 billion-dollar bill, while, at the time, they were proposing $11billion worth of tax cuts. Even Paul Goldsmith knows that one doesn't add up. The fact of the matter here is that the National Party are left wanting. I'll take the opportunity to give the ACT Party credit. I don't agree with them ever but at least they come up with policies. At least they come to the table with an alternative"


                  • If you can't see the difference between a crown agency regulating standards (Taumata Arowai) – and ones (new co-governed authorities) which remove control of water from local bodies – then there is, indeed, little point in discussing further.

                    Taumata Arowai won't be working with Councils at all – once the new authorities are set up under the 3 waters legislation, Councils will no longer have any control or responsibility for 3 waters infrastructure and/or delivery. Management of those 'assets' (some more valuable than others) will pass into the hands of these new agencies.

                    Still waiting on the information that Labour released pre the 2020 election, outlining their actual programme (co-governed bodies taking control of water infrastructure assets from local government).

                  • You really do seem to be struggling with understanding the difference between ownership and control.

                    Once the 4 territorial water agencies are in place Taumata Arowai will work with them. Since the Councils will no longer be controlling or responsible for water infrastructure (in the ideal world that Mahuta apparently envisages). That is the entire point of 3 waters!

                    • Louis

                      imo it's you that's struggling Belladonna, you can make up whatever you want to suit your own narrative.

    • Craig H 3.3

      Or just repeal and replace the legislation entirely.

    • Bearded Git 3.4

      Presumably any policy to repeal this would have to be in National and ACT's manifesto.

      Not a vote winner IMHO.

    • tsmithfield 4.1

      I have seen some really disturbing stuff of drones dropping grenades on Russian soldiers in trenches, and the soldiers not even reacting to the grenade explosions.

      The theory is that they basically have hypothermia so bad that they are unable to respond, or perhaps already dead from hypothermia.

      It isn't even winter over there yet, but the conditions are getting very cold already, and a lot of the Russian soldiers just don't have the gear to survive in those conditions. On the other hand, the Ukrainian soldiers are being supplied truck-loads of winter gear from the west.

      The other thing is that the Ukrainians get regular rest and rotation whereas the Russian soldiers, not so much. So the Russians can be in freezing condition in wet clothes indefinitely. Sucks to be them.

      It seems highly likely that 10s of thousands of Russian soldiers could freeze to death over the winter.

    • Poission 4.2

      Now awaiting Generals January and February to arrive,as NH snow mass starts accumulating,Energy demand starts to increase and electricity tightness arrives.

    • joe90 4.3

      Opinion piece by Russian politician Leonid Gozman.

      Everyone, except perhaps Putin himself, understands that his regime is nearing its end. At the very least, discussions about the country’s future are being conducted in Russia as if neither Putin nor his system still existed. The question is: How exactly will the regime collapse?

  4. Stephen D 5

    All is not yet lost.

    “Deputy Premier Jacinta Allan said the electorate had responded to Labor's "positive agenda".”

  5. Binders full of Women 6

    BBC Radio 5 has good coverage for those too poor for Sky etc. Vamos Argentina

  6. bwaghorn 7

    Watching luxon on Q+A ,he says employment levels are unsustainable, ie:we need more unemployed, then in the next breath says national will sanction the unemployed as we have to many unemployed????

    Fuckers said it with a straight 😑

    Tame is carving him up on his bullshit around his tax cut back peddling, gold

    • Tiger Mountain 7.1

      There is some acrobatic logic amongst the ruling class lately that is for sure.

      • Reserve Bank (to paraphrase): ‘unemployment must rise to help combat inflation’
      • Employers: ‘drastic labour shortage, more migrant workers urgently needed!’ of course they are talking about cheap labour, and they don’t want Labour’s median wage requirement to apply.

      The Natzos have demonised dirty filthy bennies since…oh I don’t know…John Key’s mum was on a widows benefit? No, it was actually from the Rogernomics era that they really waded in, continuing with market rents for state housing, paid tertiary, MOAB, ECA, and Jenny Shipley’s “dob in a bludger” TV ads.

      The spin off from employers wanting immigration and residency rules relaxed is that NZ workers who have just rediscovered their class power and have organised for reasonable increases will be on the back foot again.

    • Anker 7.2

      Luxon needs to go. Put him in charge of MBIE or something like that.

      National has better performers than him. Just before xmas would be the time to do it.

      • Belladonna 7.2.1

        I don't think you're going to get support from the Left for this.
        They are (or should be) delighted with Luxon's foot-in-mouth gaffes – and want the NP to keep him for as long as possible.

    • observer 7.3





  7. Reality 8

    Economics admittedly are beyond my comprehension. But I can't figure out why Luxon says we need more unemployed and at the same time NZ should open the doors to thousands of immigrants. Does Luxon ever have any human empathy to those who are made unemployed, who had been working and earning and paying their way and living their lives to then find themselves on a benefit, trying to make do on a lesser income.

    It actually was ironic to see ordinary, everyday people out shopping, getting some good deals, this weekend, despite Adrian Orr wanting us to spend less. He and the well off may now buy a $30 bottle of wine instead of a $40 bottle but their "less spending" still enables them to have a very very comfortable lifestyle. Perhaps this week I shall buy a packet of wine biscuits instead of mint creams.

    • Tiger Mountain 8.1

      You have got right into one of the key contradictions in the NZ National Party/Reserve Bank/Employers position on un/employment.

      Employers have counted on a low wage economy for many years, since 1991 in fact. With COVID public health measures which saved thousands of lives, the migrant tap was turned off. Businesses large and small have had to cough up decent rates and fairer treatment when workers get organised, or are just in demand, and they do not like it one little bit.

    • Craig H 8.2

      I'm not an economist either, nor do I agree with Luxon at all, but the rhetoric behind needing more immigration is that the NZ workforce is essentially tapped out, so NZ needs more workers generally. In addition to measuring unemployment, Stats NZ also measure employment via the employment rate and it's currently at record highs, so there's some truth to that. However, more migrants also create jobs (since they have to eat, be housed, clothed etc) as well as fill jobs, so mostly Luxon's rhetoric is relying on migrants displacing Kiwis.

      • SPC 8.2.1

        More migrant labour increases the GDP/aggregate demand by population increase. Orr says he wants a 1% decline in the total GDP to diminish inflation.

        Is no one in National capable of discussing the importance of increasing productivity per person via investment in capital equipment (crop harvesting/machine milking)?

    • Ad 8.3

      The upward pressure on wages is the best we have seen in decades.

      This has also put pressure on businesses to invest in robotics rather than keep propping up crap jobs. Great to see McDonalds go full automated ordering. Most supermarkets are converting away from cashiers. More dairy farms are going full robotic. More orchards are investing in stronger mechanisation – as they should have for decades.

      Death to shit jobs.

      Luxon just wants the rent off the back of workers. Cheap.

      • Belladonna 8.3.1

        On that topic.
        I was in the supermarket last night (not my usual, but a poncy new one in an inner-city suburb). Took my purchases to the self-checkout, and was interested to observe the two checkout operaters having a nice chat to each other, since all customers were using the self-check options (the store layout guides you that way – you have to make a special effort to divert to a staffed point).

        However, the supermarket still needed to have staff on duty at the self-check – both to fix the issues with the equipment (mis-scanning, false readings, weight of produce issues, etc.) [every customer had one or more of these while I was checking out my groceries] and (presumably) to act as a deterrent against people rorting the system (not scanning expensive items, etc. – or just walking out the door). Presumably they also have to have live staff to sign off on things like alcohol purchases.

        So, no need to checkout staff, but still need for staff to fix the poorly operating automated systems, and security staff (not a job I'd want…. in the current climate)

        • Shanreagh

          I really don't follow this as a argument but will say that the staff supervising the self check outs at my local are those who have years of experience, eyes in the back of their heads and you'd be most unwise to do anything there to get their attention in a bad way. In my supermarket the aisles and self scanners seem to work together so that if queues at one of the other get a bit long the customers are diverted.

          Both the supermarkets I go to I have not seen a lessening of staff overall as a result of self scanning.

  8. Muttonbird 10

    File it under weird and wonderful thoughts of Rimmer, the hologram.

    ACT will require every school in New Zealand to fill out an electronic attendance register, which would be accessible by the Ministry of Education.

    Schools would be required to record which students have not attended school on a particular day and whether that absence was justified or unjustified. The Ministry will publish daily attendance in real-time, building a national focus on the issue, ACT said.

    For a proponent of small, invisible government not intruding in our lives, Seymour has a funny way of showing it.

    Of course we know what this is about. It's about constant surveillance of (electronic registers), and pressure upon (fines), Maori and PI peoples until they start acting a bit more white.

    • Belladonna 10.1

      That's interesting. AFAIK – schools all do this now. Certainly as a parent, I can see the online attendance record of my teen – which records several different kinds of absence: justified (i.e. sick or at an off-site educational, sporting or cultural event), unjustified (not there for any other reason), late (didn't turn up on time), and overseas posting (not on holiday – but where kids remain on the roll while the family is posted overseas (military, diplomatic, etc.)).

      The MoE require schools to record this data (I know this, because I had a long debate with the school over what a cultual event was – and whether my kid (attending the event) was a justified or an unjustified absence – and eventally had to go to the MoE for a ruling.)

      I had *assumed* that the schools were reporting this to MoE – though possibly not daily – but, at least each term. Perhaps they aren't.

      • Muttonbird 10.1.1

        But would you want your child's attendance record published for all to see, "in real-time, (to build) a national focus on the issue"?

        • higherstandard

          Your questions is pointless as no one is proposing any such thing.

          • Muttonbird

            What is the proposal? To demonise schools in low income areas rather than kids individually?

        • Belladonna

          Statistics are reported on a school-wide basis – so no individual kids are identifiable.

          I actually think that – if the MoE don't have this information – they need it.

          And, it seems, that most schools are providing this – and have been doing so electronically, since 2020. Initially to measure the impact of Covid, and latterly to measure the long term effect of Covid on attendance rates

          In the reporting to date – I understood that the only figures they had were the raw in class/not in class ones. Which astounded me. Since my local school certainly has the detailed ones, and I understood they were reporting them.

          It would be useful to have some clarity from the MoE over what data they are currently receiving. And, whether the issue is that not all schools are providing this.

          In order to know whether there is an issue with attendance, they need to tease out the ones who are sick or at a kapa haka festival, or sports tournament or performing in a musical – from those who are not at school for 'unjustified' reasons.

    • Peter 10.2

      Seymour's Party says in its education policy, "The Ministry of Education will be greatly reduced in its size." Those who are there will be administering the voucher education system which will be the basis of or organisation of schooling.

      I guess there'll be office workers doing all the stuff around attendance at school including the "on-the-spot fines." Mind you Act might have it that the bureaucracy for that will be tendered out to private contractors.

      In our city that probably means that the company which has the contract from the council to do with dogs, registration, strays and so on, will deal with kids not getting to school. That probably would fairly sum up the Act attitude to non-attendance at school.

      • Belladonna 10.2.1

        It would seem that 'fines' would be triggered by 30% non-attendance. The 'spot' business, means that it doesn't have to go to court (which is currently required for a truancy case, before a penalty can be imposed).

        ACT would change the Education and Training Act to allow the Ministry of Education to introduce an infringement notice regime for truancy. They would ensure police could work with schools on truants and take children they see out of school during school hours to either the school or home.

        ACT also proposed a traffic light system for unjustified attendance at schools. At the red setting, more than 30 per cent truant, the student would be referred to the Ministry of Education, which would decide whether to fine parents and/or refer the matter to police.

        Schools would also receive funding to deal with poor attendance, weighted through the Equity Index so schools with more vulnerable student populations would receive more funding.

        The funds would come from the $38.5 million spent annually on truancy services.

        What I was actually expecting from ACT, was sanction on the benefit (and/or Working for Families payments) for parents whose kids don't attend school and/or intervention by State Housing agencies for resident parents whose kids don't attend school.

  9. mary_a 11

    While I might not the sharpest knife in the drawer, what I'm getting from this Stuff article is GPs through Corporate Tend, are offering virtual medical services for $51 a consultation, where you can have a virtual consult on the hoof so to speak! I stand to be corrected if I am wrong in this regard.

    There are many Kiwis who are deaf myself included, so this type of service would not be suitable, as face to face interaction in every day life is very important for those of us with various disabilities, particularly deafness, while at the same time also telling a GP a lot about their patient’s health which I doubt can be successfully achieved in a virtual situation.'

    I hope this new trend is optional, because IMO medicine has no place in the corporate world, such as that which is being offered here, or vice versa!

  10. Mary_a, Just a personal tale of online consulting.

    Our son has a condition which was misdiagnosed by a Gold Coast surgeon.

    However, after talking with our son by 'phone about members of the family who had died early, said surgeon opted to send the video of the operation of the bowel folds, to a specialist in Sydney.

    Grant was then in a tele conference with the Gold Coast surgeon and the Sydney Specialist, who diagnosed life threatening growths which had to be removed each year, before they become cancerous.

    This practise of mixed face to face telephone and online consults has been used successfully in Australia for years, at least ten to my knowledge, both public and private services.

    Face to face where it would not work, though It does lessen visits for frail patients .

    • mary_a 12.1

      It seems in Grant's case, virtual consults have proven positive Patricia. That's great👍

      Thanks for the info and I hope Grant continues to make good progress.

      • Thanks Mary-a, there is an app which changes speech to written text for the deaf, so Grant tells me.?? I don't know more, but the internet may have more info. Cheers and thanks for your good wishes.

        • Belladonna

          A recent side benefit of the online consult, was that a colleague was able to record her online consultation with a specialist. Which meant she could re-play it later, and make sure she had the correct information, as well as sharing it with her daughter (making sure the family had the correct info as well).

          Really useful – as it's common for information to just be lost, misunderstood, or even just not heard at all, in what is sometimes a tense and difficult discussion.

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