by Cam Slater on the BFD
Yesterday the Government capitulated and told us that they now wouldn’t be pursuing the entrenchment clauses in their deeply flawed Three Waters legislation. But they are treating voters with contempt, running the line that their propaganda press is lapping up – that it was all some sort of dreadful “mistake”.
The entrenchment clause in the Three Waters legislation that sparked outcry has been labelled a mistake by Leader of the House Chris Hipkins and will be removed.
Hipkins announced the backdown today after lawyers labelled the provision undemocratic last week.
Last month, politicians debated under urgency various stages and amendments to the Water Services Entities Bill – the first in a suite of laws to enact the Three Waters reforms.
Among those was a provision, proposed by Green MP Eugenie Sage, to ensure there was an obligation to maintain public ownership and control of water services and significant assets, something the public has been concerned about.
A threshold of 60 per cent to overturn such a provision in future was settled upon.
In response, a group of the country’s top public law academics urged the Government to change the provision, saying it could set a “dangerous precedent”.
Law Society president Frazer Barton penned a strongly worded letter to Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta last week.
“The entrenchment clause is undemocratic: it proposes to bind the hands of future governments on a contestable policy position,” Barton said.
Today, Hipkins called the clause a mistake.
“It was a mistake to put the entrenchment clause in and the Government will fix the issue as soon as the House resumes on Tuesday.
“The intention to protect assets from being sold was right, but entrenchment usually requires a super majority or 75 per cent of the parliament to vote for it.
“The approach in this amendment allowed an entrenchment provision to pass in a way that is not typical for Parliament. That has wider ramifications that we are not comfortable with. That’s why we will fix the issue.
“It’s also important Parliament strengthens the rules around entrenchment generally to avoid this in the future.” –NZ Herald
It wasn’t a mistake: it was absolutely deliberate. It was also sneaky, underhand and duplicitous. But it was not a mistake.
They defended it all week, trying to lay the blame for it at the feet of National and ACT. They are still trying to say that’s why they did it, even as they walk it back. Their shills on social media were defending entrenchment as hard as they could, and yet apparently it was now a “mistake”.
It was put to the caucus at a meeting Jacinda Ardern chaired. We know this because the real leader of the Labour Party, Nanaia Mahuta, told us that when she threw Ardern under the proverbial bus.
The Prime Minister was caught out in yet another lie. She denied knowing about it even though it went through cabinet AND caucus, and the entire caucus then, including Ardern, voted in favour of the clause being added in Parliament.
It was no mistake. The only mistake they made was thinking they could get away with it.
Sources inside Labour also tell me that their polling has tanked. The Prime Minister was busted lying again; voters didn’t buy the lies about the entrenchment and their polling plummeted. That is why you are seeing a reverse ferret of epic proportions.
This episode shows very clearly that Labour treats voters with contempt, effectively suggesting you are stupid. By asking you to accept their word that it was all a “mistake” reinforces that.
We must never forget they tried it on. That’s what worries me the most – that they gave it a go. I’m starting think it was a distraction though, so you all go ‘phew!’… then they ram the Three Waters legislation through, effectively privatising water into the hands of the iwi elite anyway.
You see, when Labour accuses others of something, they are almost certainly doing it themselves. They are dirty and as shameless as the Democrats, who Elon Musk has now busted for colluding with Twitter to suppress news and control the narrative.
Labour are the ones privatising water assets. They are stealing them from you as ratepayers and handing both control and ownership of those assets to an unelected iwi elite. That is the real scandal.
But you won’t read about it in the propaganda press. They’ve got $55 million reasons not to hold the Government to account.