Iwi against Three Waters

August 10, 2022

I'm Tina Nixon, a current Masteron District Councillor and newly elected to the Water Users' Group Board.

I joined the Group as we have to use every means at our disposal to try and halt these reforms for the good of our communities and it is good to stand alongside people who were willing to test this reform.

You may have already seen but I was delighted to hear Rangitane o Wairarapa had made a submission to the Parliamentary Select Committee on the Three Waters Bill. You can read the submission here.

They have nailed the problem for iwi and Maori who want respect for the actual Treaty, instead of the Three Waters stuff being made up by the Minister. Rangitane have pointed out that the co-governance provisions for the 4 entities conflict with the Treaty. They trash the Article 2 promises that everyone (specifically each “ordinary person”) and for Maori, each hapu and iwi was guaranteed the ownership rights to their own property. The entities instead bury them under committees and obscure rights and powers for an unelected elite to tell all the ordinary people what will happen to their property.

I’m told by our lawyers that Rangitane are expressing just what an important part of our case is about. Three Waters  pretends to be about Treaty rights and interest, when in fact it is suppressing them, along with the legitimate property rights of everyone else. The provision that pretends to preserve current iwi (and public) rights and interests in water bodies and flowing water, has fine print that instead subjects them to the powers of the so-called representative bodies (that are expressly not representative or democratic).

As a Councillor from the Wairarapa, I am proud that Rangitane have called it as it is, and that it confirms the position of the Water Users’ Group.  

Thanks to everyone who is supporting our efforts  - but  as they say,  there is quite a bit of water to go under  the bridge yet, so your continued support is vital.

Auditor-General's Report
You may also seen this week that the Auditor-General has slammed the Three Waters Bill -

"Overall, we are concerned that the Bill, as currently drafted, could have an adverse effect on public accountability, transparency, and organisational performance."

The AG is independent and very considered in their views. For them to use strong language such as this shows just how bad Three Waters really is. You can read the full AG's submission here.

Tina Nixon
Board Member

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