Three Waters: Wrong answer to right question – Kaipara Mayor in wake of working group participation

Anti-Three Waters signage on a property at Otaika, Whangārei, shows what some think of the controversial Government plan.

10th March 2022

A Northland local government leader says his participation in the Government’s latest efforts to address major national concerns around Three Waters representation, governance and accountability have done nothing to quell his fears.

Kaipara Mayor Dr Jason Smith said after being part of the new working group set up by the Government, he still has concerns for New Zealand’s democracy.

Smith, Northland Mayoral Forum chairman, was a member of the Government working group tasked with addressing Three Waters restructure sticking points for local government around future representation, governance and accountability.

“I participated in the working group in good faith. There is much that’s good in this journey but at the end it’s become clear to me that while there is a need for some kind of water system reform, this one fails to address the fundamental issue of funding investment in our infrastructure and seeks to adjust governance in a way that limits the ability of all people and communities to engage,” Smith said.

“In light of this I don’t support the direction of the reforms and believe … [they] … are the wrong answer to the right question. At the end of all this journey I’m sad to say these Three Waters reforms get a ‘yeah, nah’ from me.”

Growing local government concern about representation, governance and accountability have seen the unprecedented startup of a new breakaway Communities for Local Democracy (C4LD) group of now 30 of New Zealand’s 67 councils and representing 1.5 million people. KDC, FNDC and WDC are among the C4LD group.

Dr Jason Smith – Kaipara Mayor and government representation, governance and accountability working party member is still unhappy about the proposed Three Waters reforms.

Smith said his working group participation saw him change tack and now join Whangārei District Council (WDC), Far North District Council (FNDC) and Auckland Council in rejecting Three Waters participation.

Three Waters restructuring would see these four councils’ drinking water, wastewater and stormwater functions merged into a giant top-of-New Zealand water services entity currently called entity A.

“I believed the reforms could be an opportunity for mana enhancement for councils and for iwi, that strengthening our democratic institutions is vital. I’m saddened that I believe the output of the working group does not seek to strengthen our democratic institutions or the work those institutions do with and for their people,” Smith said.

Whangārei Mayor Sheryl Mai, who is a member of the C4LD oversight group, said the working group’s recommendations to Government around dealing with the three sticking points of representation, governance and accountability simply made her council more determined in its High Court Three Waters challenge.

Kaipara Lifestyler

15th March 2022

THREE WATERS PLAN ‘ RECKLESS’

The government’s Three Waters Reform plan to create regional
authorities to remove control from councils has been roundly
rejected by Kaipara Mayor Jason Smith as “bad policy and a
recklessness of the government.”

Dr Smith is the sole Northland member of the working group set up to advise on representation, governance and accountability in the water plan put forward by Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta.
“Being on the working group, I got many new understandings, but regrettably, they sit uncomfortably with me. I now join my fellow mayors of northern New Zealand in not supporting these reforms,” Dr Smith said. “Public systems must be accountable to everyone when they are for everyone. This Three Waters Review has not demonstrated that will be the case. Public engagement and everyone being allowed to participate equally in the creation of plans or ideas is simply good governance. “As a Doctor of Public Policy, I’m reflecting that the Three Waters Reforms are most likely a Trojan Horse for ‘ending the tyranny of the majority’. “Looking at the proposed reform programme in its entirety, including its new recommendations, which have potentially increased the geographic scope away from local broken pipes to every square inch of New Zealand and 12 miles out to sea, these reforms are becoming about something much larger than infrastructure. “I see it as bad policy and a recklessness of the government to allow this situation to develop. ‘Ending the tyranny of the majority’, is potentially a revolutionary development for New Zealand society, as the majority is where the safe seat of society is found, and to up-end that is a
very uncertain path. “Ending the tyranny of the majority could well mean stopping democratic institutions from doing their best for all the people, and I can’t support that. On
behalf of the people I represent — I reject these proposed reforms.” 

Published by Kiwis Protecting Our Freedom of Expression

I am a Farmer, Wife & Mother Protecting Our Rights for Freedom of Expression. I have travelled the World Extensively ... UK, Wales, Europe, Iceland, Africa, & Australia 84 - 88 My home City is Tauranga & I now reside on our Farm on the Shores of the North Kaipara Harbour along with my husband of 25 years . I was a Founding Pupil @ Matua Primary School (65) & attended Otumoetai Intermediate plus Otumoetai College I completed a Small Business Course My interests include : Family, Politics , Cooking, Gardening & The Great Outdoors I feel strongly our Rights are being Gradually taken away by a Government we no longer trust in New Zealand. My concerns are Forced Vaccination Dual Proposed Government 3 Waters, S.N.A & Hepuapua Policies * Lack of Roading Infrustructure My aim is to keep freedom of Speech in our Country Alive Plus I would like my family to live in NZ the way we knew it Growing Up Sue Reyland (Admin/Founder) Kiwis Protecting Our Freedom of Expression Website FB : https://www.facebook.com/groups/406030170125374

2 thoughts on “Three Waters: Wrong answer to right question – Kaipara Mayor in wake of working group participation

  1. Good on you Mayor Smith pity Auckland doesn’t see good sense and on behalf of us who live in the Super City area join with you and the North.

    On Wed, 16 Mar 2022, 10:01 PM KIWIS PROTECTING OUR FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION, wrote:

    > Kiwis Protecting Our Freedom of Expression posted: ” Anti-Three Waters > signage on a property at Otaika, Whangārei, shows what some think of the > controversial Government plan. 10th March 2022 A Northland local government > leader says his participation in the Government’s latest efforts to address > major” >

    Like

Leave a Reply to Margaret mary Nelson Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: