Three Waters all about iwi ownership, control

The Three Waters Plan centralizes national water management while indulging iwi demands for ownership of water, according to businessman Gary Judd QC.

Under Three Waters, all 67 city, district, and territorial councils' drinking, waste and storm water assets would be absorbed by four large regional entities, each of which would be governed by a board consisting of six council representatives and six iwi appointees.

In a piece titled "Three Waters: Ideological government indulging sectional political constituency", Judd said:

  • A Cabinet paper titled “Protecting and Promoting iwi/Maori rights and Interests in the New Zealand Three Waters Service Delivery Model: Paper Three” (see Three Waters Cabinet decisions) shows a clear intention to establish a system dominated by the “rights and interests of iwi/Maori”
  • The plan is designed to give iwi/Maori the predominating governance influence.
  • Only iwi/Maori will have ownership rights. Local authorities will have none.
  • Legislation that will require new water entities to conduct themselves in accordance with Treaty principles and be a good Treaty partner will open the entities to litigation by iwi.

Judd wrote that “it is certain that if one has no rights in relation to a thing — e.g., no right to use it, to enjoy it, to gain a return from it, to dispose of it, to destroy it, to control it or to control its use — one does not own the thing”.

“The Government whilst claiming that the new entities would be publicly owned did not say how. Under pressure, by the end of June the [Local Government] Minister, Nanaia Mahuta, was saying they would be owned by local authorities, by being listed as owners in the legislation.

“As the proposal deprives local authorities of all the rights of ownership, this “ownership” is a fiction. It is “spin” on a grand scale. Listing in the legislation does not confer ownership if it does not confer ownership rights,” he wrote.

In the Cabinet paper cited above, Mahuta said “my reforms of the three waters system provide the opportunity for a step change in the way iwi/Maori rights and interests are recognised throughout the system.”

Judd wrote: “The first item in Appendix B [of Cabinet paper 3] notes an Article two Treaty right to make decisions over resources and taonga which Maori wish to retain and assumes, without proof, that this applies to Council services.

“Council services were created by councils using ratepayer funds.

“Maori cannot ‘retain’ something Maori never had. This is a confidence trick. It is not retention of rights; what the Minister proposed, and Cabinet agreed to, was acquisition of rights,” he wrote.

Mahuta refuses to rule out changing the law to force councils to sign up to the Three Waters Plan. Initially, councils could opt out of the proposal. (See Mahuta won't rule out forcing councils)

Legalised iwi checkpoints part of He Puapua

Self-declared iwi “border controls” will become lawful under clause 12 of the COVID-19 Public Health Response Amendment Bill (No 2) introduced on September 21. See

Maori and Pasifika wardens, a nominated representative of an iwi organisation, or community patrollers, will have the legal authority to run roadblocks/checkpoints under the supervision of a constable,

This is an extraordinary situation, where iwi members with no qualification other than their ancestry will be empowered to stop other New Zealanders going about their lawful business.  This looks like He Puapua in action.

He Puapua is the name of a plan for a radical revision of our government into two racially divided spheres, one by Maori for Maori and the other, a fully bi-cultural set-up for everyone else.

Page 65 of the plan advocates law changes that would enable Maori to control access to and management of all lands and resources within their districts.

We have collected more than 17,800 signatures on a petition against the He Puapua plan. Click here to sign  Reject co-governance  and like and share the petition page. Please share this email with others and ask your friends to sign.

Elder wants rethink on Aotearoa push

A Ngai Tahu elder has called for a rethink on a movement to change New Zealand’s official name to Aotearoa, a name which he said originally referred solely to the North Island. He said using Aotearoa for New Zealand risks overlooking the South Island.

A call to change the nation’s name has been brought to the fore by the Maori Party launching a petition which not only called for renaming our country but also called for giving Maori names to towns, cities and other places.

Otago marae kaumatua Edward Ellison said while he agreed with the Maori Party’s initiative in principle, it would be ‘‘a rash move to rush forward in a change of that substance and nature’’. See Let's not rush name change

We believe there should be absolutely no change to our country’s name without a referendum. 

We know, because we commissioned a poll to find out, that the great majority of New Zealanders want no change in our country’s name. 

Our country has been called New Zealand since 1642 – indeed, there was no name for the country that we now call New Zealand prior to that.

Our petition calling on the Prime Minister to delete any reference in official communication to any name for our nation other than New Zealand has gathered more than 18,000 signatures.

Click here to sign and like and share the page. Please share this email with others and ask your friends to sign.

Coastal petition grows

Our petition which asks Parliament to amend the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act 2011 to restore public ownership of the coastal area, put all claims through the High Court, and repeal customary marine title, while affirming customary rights, has picked up more than 42,400 signatures. We need your support. The petition may be signed at

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