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Parliament passes law to reform New Zealand's water supply system, Nats & Act vow to repeal it

Public Policy / news
Parliament passes law to reform New Zealand's water supply system, Nats & Act vow to repeal it
wayter pipe

Parliament has passed a big chunk of the Government's contentious water reforms.

The Water Services Entities Amendment Bill passed its third reading with the support of Labour and the Greens but was opposed by National, Act and Te Pati Maori.

The Act replaces an earlier version, the Three Waters legislation, and establishes 10 water services entities in place of the originally planned four. 

The Government says its reforms will save ratepayers money, by taking responsibility for water away from 67 local councils and putting it into the hands of 10 larger entities. It says this will bring economies of scale to the water industry. 

“The reforms remove the water-related debt off councils’ balance sheets – relieving councils of the burden of servicing this debt and the need to fund future investment in our water infrastructure," says the man who pushed through the reforms,  the Local Government Minister Kieran McAnulty.

"This helps limit future rates increases."

The reforms were triggered after a review found dilapidated pipes and other water infrastructure across the nation would cost $120 billion to $185 billion to fix.   

The Government said this would not be affordable for ratepayers, but some critics have argued that the entities would incur huge levels of debt in paying for major upgrades across New Zealand. 

The National Party and Act have vowed to repeal the legislation. 

Two related bills are due in parliament in the coming days. They are the Water Services Legislation Bill and the Water Services Economic Efficiency and Consumer Protection Bill.

McAnulty says they will complete the legislative package for the Government’s affordable water reforms. 

“Every ratepayer will be economically better off because of these changes versus doing nothing," McAnulty says. 

The 10 organisations retain the co-governance model of the previous, Three Waters version, with iwi having 50% representation on oversight bodies that appoint the boards to run each entity.   

But McAnulty says the new version will have greater local representation than in its previous incarnation.  

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Ideological madness.

But then, the same can be said for the Opposition.

We have peaked what we can achieve in many ways, including water infrastructure (which, like everything else, is made of and by fossil fuels. Finite fossil fuels.

By 2040, we will be patching such infrastructure locally. As to when the change happens, and its speed? More likely this side of 2030, and too fast to parry, are the odds-on answers.

But of course, economic growth can go forever, and entropy doesn't exist.


"The end is nigh!"

Fossil fuel reserves remain high. New renewables coming online all the time. Fusion advancing daily. 

Take off the sandwich board, the future is bright for humanity. Go out, enjoy the sunshine.

3 waters which will be gone by the end of the year.


Chances are that anyone my age will be gone before the end of the world anyway so why even worry about it ? Just enjoy that Sunday drive burning up some fossil fuel and live for the day. National are in so 3 waters is gone.





Stick to facts. Always better.

Fossil fuel reserves don't remain anything; they are being reduced. That rate of reduction is 100 million barrels PER DAY!!!

Renewables don't scale (and I champion them, because that is where we will end up - been off-grid for 20 years.

Fusion? Tell (yourself) the truth:

The rest is just straw-man; rejection via denigration, same old same old.

F. Best mark possible, re-submission suggested.


..McAnulty says the new version will have greater local representation than in its previous incarnation. 

McAnulty conveniently forgets that under council ownership there was 100% local representation!!


So Nact are not alone in wanting to sell off our assets. 


Sad day for NZ democracy. Central government takeover of local government assets paid for by generations of local ratepayers. The change from 4 to 10 new water services entities will not simplify the model any further.  Add in a racist co-governance layer, the 5 waters and you have the makings of a complete clusterf**k.

The UFB role out delivered by the National govt was probably the most successful large scale infrastructure project in recent history. A similar central + local govt + vendor partnership model could be used for upgrading our water infrastructure without wholesale organizational changes and the creation of new bureaucracies (Labour love an enormous bureaucracy).

All more incentives to vote the shambolic Labour govt out in October.


Wow! What an arrogant Labour government.  Co-governance is wildly unpopular, not to mention undemocratic and based on woke ideology, and an incorrect reinterpretation of the Treaty of Waitangi  Even if ACT/National are able to successfully unwind this, then the Maori power elite, the Iwi Leaders Forum, have now tasted blood in the water and will keep festering social divisions.

The authoritative back translation of the treaty of Waitangi (English->Maori->English) Translation by Professor Kawharu is crystal clear, and consistent with the meeting notes minutes that recorded how the chiefs understood the meaning and spirit of the treaty at the time. 

Article 1. The chiefs of the Confederation and all the chiefs who have not joined that Confederation give absolutely to the Queen of England for ever the complete government over their land.

Noteworthy that Jacinda Ardern, when asked, had no idea what the three articles of the treaty were.  It's only one hundred and eighty-something words in three articles, but she couldn’t even paraphrase it.  She had no idea…


Hahaha, I got a laugh out of that Pat, thanks. 


Hi Mr McAnulty, your current job ends on 14 October 2023.

Not long before the voting starts, and we can vote these socialist dreamers out.


Socialism isn't the problem, but the move is wrong.

Always important to identify cause and caused; pre-held biases often get in the way of dispassionate appraisal.


Socialism is a problem. 100%


How long does it take to repeal an Act? I'm trying to find the process somewhere.

I see after the third reading the governor general signs off on the bill within about 7 days, making it an ACT. So labour will get this rushed thru just in time. 

How long does it take to repeal is what I'm wondering. National and Act got a lot of crap to sort out when they get voted back in. The place is in a mess, they going to have a very busy first 6months that for sure!