Delay spells trouble for Three Waters plans

The Government’s broken promise to introduce their Three Waters asset grab legislation by the end of the year is yet another sign their plans are in trouble, National’s Local Government spokesperson Simon Watts says.

“Optimistically, the Three Waters bill delay might be a hint that Labour are going to start working with councils, not against them – or better yet, that they will scrap their plans altogether.

“The far more likely reason for the delay is internal Labour Party angst among their provincial MPs who can see they will be out of jobs come 2023 if the Three Waters plans go ahead.

“The Government’s plans would require every council in the country to join one of four proposed mega water entities, and hand over control of their Three Waters assets.

“Ratepayers will have the water assets they've paid for over decades confiscated and centralised by this Government. Local control will be replaced by a complex smorgasbord of unelected appointees and unaccountable bureaucrats.

“Minister Mahuta and the Labour Government should listen to New Zealanders and abandon their centralisation and control agenda.

“National opposes the Three Waters asset grab. If Labour rams its plan through, we will repeal the entity model when we form the next government in 2023 and return seized water assets to councils.”