Monday, May 2, 2022

Bryce Edwards on Three Waters

Possibly the most damning condemnation yet of the pernicious Three Waters project comes today from Victoria University political scientist Bryce Edwards. You can read it here:

Political Roundup: Is Three Waters really about water infrastructure or iwi co-governance? (

Edwards' denunciation carries great weight because unlike some who have attacked Three Waters, he is not a habitual critic of the Labour government. If anything, he naturally leans toward the left.

Edwards makes the important point that there are two issues here. One is the need for better administration of the country's creaking water infrastructure, on which there is wide agreement. The other is the way Nanaia Mahuta has cynically used this as an excuse for a massive asset grab and transfer of power to unelected iwi interests, all without any mandate or explanation.

Mahuta's propaganda machine has focused exclusively on the former while pretending the idea of 50-50 co-governance isn't an issue - in fact sidestepping it altogether, with the help of journalists who have obligingly parroted the government's talking points. It's hard to recall a more brazen example of political dissembling.


Hilary Taylor said...

Yes. Trojan horse. We see.

Richard said...

The argument appears to be that Maori have an inherently better understanding of, and motivation to improve, our water quality.
In a similar vein, a reporter recently on TVOne news said Maori have a better concept of love and care for their families.
I haven't seen any evidence or data to support either of these statements - in fact the data would suggest they are both incorrect.
Perhaps we need to promote some 'Pakeha' values of family and the environment as something to which the country should aspire.

Richard Arlidge said...

When Bryce Edwards says "Whether or not this gives iwi any rights and ability to extract financial charges for water has not been explained..." he makes it sound like it's not the stipulated certainty that it most definitely is. The only thing that remains uncertain about that extraction, is how much? Make no mistake (that in terms of 3 Waters), Minister Mahuta is ultimately interested in achieving only two things: 1) co-governance, i.e. unelected seats and power for an elitist Maori cohort; and, 2) the ability to extract fees for same - whether that be directly through what essentially will be royalties and salaries, but also more than likely indirectly through cultural consults and contracts to associated or favoured parties etc. The generally poor state of the 3 Waters and discussions about privatisation etc, are the necessary 'spin' to achieve those ends. If she really cared about 3 Waters, why not drop the co-governance and mana whenua aspects until the purported merits and benefits of those can be more fully examined and discussed in an open, democratic manner? Naturally, there’s fat chance of that, for she knows there are insurmountable problems genuinely justifying same. And for all those that are in favour of improving our 3 Waters and think what's currently proposed is better than nothing, you need to take some time out and actually study what's on offer here. There are huge costs and on-going overheads in running this proposed four-headed, multi-layered beast, yet alone what it's going to cost us all as end users, in addition to the unintended consequences I’ve mentioned in previous posts. If you don't object to this blatant deceit, you'll find out the hard way that the claimed savings will be as mythical as the purported taniwha. An apt metaphor, for if does go ahead as planned, you’ll likely discover a new taniwha in the waters - one which will be very adept at devouring your hard-earned income.