from Peter Williams of The Taxpayers’ Union

Yesterday the Labour Party Government rammed through the final parliamentary steps of the Three Waters bill. Pending sign off from the Governor General, it will become law.But unlike when Labour first introduced the bill, the public is now dramatically opposed to Nanaia Mahuta’s co-governed model. 

Labour were the only ones left supporting the bill. Even the Greens and Māori Party pulled their support at the last minute.

While Nanaia Mahuta used parliamentary urgency to try to sneak through the entrenchment amendment at the Committee of the Whole House stage (which thankfully backfired on them!), today the Government used extended hours to pass the Third Reading. That meant that the National Party did not have their full voting numbers because not enough of their MPs were in Wellington.

Despite the enormous opposition, the lies about ‘ownership’, the unsuccessful buy off of the local government sector, and the parliamentary skullduggery, Nanaia Mahuta and Jacinda Ardern were determined to force Three Waters through Parliament before Christmas come hell or high water.But make no mistake, the fight is not over. This is where our campaign pivots and we need you to get behind it.

As of now, our campaign to Stop Three Waters relaunches as Scrap Three Waters

The Government still has to pass two more parliamentary bills before Three Waters is properly implemented. Between now and then, there is a general election. Now with every opposition party is against Three Waters and the public firmly behind us, it is only a matter of time until this policy is a dead duck so long as we keep the matter in the minds of the voting public.

Jacinda Ardern’s strategy is to gamble that voters will have forgotten about Three Waters come next year’s election. It is your job (and mine) to ensure that her strategy does not work. 

Three Waters is now Jacinda Ardern’s biggest headache In just 12 months, your support of the Taxpayers’ Union‘s efforts has:

Ensured the country is covered in roadside banners and signage calling on voters to Stop Three Waters

Made it not only socially and politically acceptable to come out against Three Waters, but politically necessary – Three Waters was the core local council election issue Elected a wave of new councillors and mayors across New Zealand on a platform to protect local democracy and oppose Three Waters

Forced National’s hand to commit not just to scrapping Three Waters, but also to ensuring that any model that replaces it is not ‘co-governed’. 

In short your support has turned Three Waters from an issue that the media wouldn’t even talk about into Jacinda Ardern’s Achilles’ heel for the election next year. 

In every piece of political commentary right now, Three Waters is being cited as a major risk to the Labour Government’s re-election chances next year. That isn’t an accident – it is a result of an enormous year-long effort by the Taxpayers’ Union made possible by our supporters like you.

Twelve months ago, we could barely get the media to consider the issue (except for the Government’s outrageous taxpayer-funded propaganda campaign). Now mayors across New Zealand are lining up to fight the issue for us!

Phase One (getting the public onside) has been accomplished. Now we need to launch Phase Two: Using that momentum to force whomever is elected next year to Scrap Three Waters.

Don’t let Ardern and Mahuta get away with it

Our team are working to ensure there is a more centrist, democratically accountable, affordable, and quality alternative model. Unlike Three Waters, this model will ensure lower water costs, less bureaucracy, protect local control, and ensure democratic accountability. 

You have seen the power of our campaign to date: The billboards, newspaper advertising, TV advertising, radio advertising, the signs plastered across the country. We have turned something that Government hoped they could slip through into the biggest political issue of 2022. 

Now we have the public onboard, we have to ensure the momentum continues into election year. That’s why we need your support right now. Your support will mean Jacinda Ardern and Nanaia Mahuta can’t sweep Three Waters out of sight.

Voters need to know where all parties stand on Three Waters when they go to the ballot box.

Three Waters has proved to be a runaway train driven by a minister with tunnel vision, but along the way the wheels have been falling off. We say consign it to the scrap heap!

Peter Williams
Board Member
New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union

PS. I know many people will be disappointed that this first bill has gone through – so am I. But we are winning. We’ve been tracking the opinion polls on Three Waters every month since October 2021. We are winning, because the Government has barely any support left for its undemocratic proposals. We need to turn this stone in the Government’s shoe into the issue that loses them an election. We can’t Stop Three Waters, but we can scrap it. 

PPS. If you have or had a Stop Three Waters banner or sign, we are currently producing updated versions. 

To order your new banner, click here.