Three Waters = tribal control over fresh water

The Three Waters are the water you drink, waste water and storm water.

Labour's "Three Waters" is a radical plan altering the ownership and control of New Zealand's fresh water infrastructure. Despite huge opposition, Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta has announced that the Ardern-Mahuta Labour government will confiscate council-owned water assets across New Zealand and transfer them to four mega water companies. 

What does it mean for you?

  • each water authority wil be controlled by an unelected board of twelve members
  • six will be appointed by iwi, the other six members will represent all the councils contributing assets to the water authority. That means for example, that just six people will represent all twenty South Island councils
  • those twelve people will have total control over the water that flows in and out of your property, and how much you pay for it.
  • you will have to do their bidding, and pay whatever they charge and you can't vote them out of office because they are not elected to represent you eg requiring farmers to introduce cripplingly expensive (and largely unnecessary) water treatment facilities, which could force them off the land.

Three waters = tribal control over fresh water

  • Three Waters grants equal representation between local governments (which also represent ordinary Maori folk) and Maori tribes
  • all Board decisions will require a 75% majority, as iwi members tend to vote en bloc, this effectively grants tribal representatives control over all major decisions

Three waters grants exclusive ownership rights to iwi over a necessity of life - fresh water

  • The new structure recognises what Mahuta calls the "mana o te wai" - or authority over fresh water a necessity of life. As no other New Zealanders are granted "mana o te wai", Mahuta is transferring ownership rights in fresh water exclusively to iwi

Who or what exactly are iwi?

  • iwi are private entities made up of complex networks of trusts and companies operating commercial businesses that are hugely wealthy

Legalised extortion 

  • the Three Waters structure will further cement legalised extortion into our legal framework where eg iwi rights under the RMA result in special deals for iwi contractors and expensive consultancy reports (which are unwanted and of no value to the recipient except to be granted iwi "approval")

Conflicts of interest between iwi profits and the environment

  • conflicts of interest between environmental concerns and iwi business profits will arise, eg Ngai Tahu board members will be able to vote against environmental concerns, even though this will serve Ngai Tahu's financial interests.

We must not stand for this: what you can do:

Kick up a fuss. Email Jacinda Ardern and Nanaia Mahuta. Tell them that if Labour push this obnoxious legislation through then you will make sure that they are voted out of power.

Sign our Open Letter to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern:

Click here to sign our Open Letter to Jacinda Ardern which we will be presenting to Parliament, urging her to find a better way to deal with any water quality issues. 

Groundswell The Mother of All Protests - 21st November:

Farmers have been attacked on all sides by stifling regulations and new rules which could see them forced off their farms. The Three Waters Plan is the final straw. Join the protests which are being held up and down the country on 21st November. Take along a "NO 3 Waters" sign. 

Click here to find out details of the protest:

Click here for a list of protest meeting places



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