Three Waters hugely unpopular in Canterbury, says Waimakariri MP

Waimakariri MP Matt Doocey has delivered a passionate speech in Parliament in which he addressed the Government’s Three Waters Bill on behalf of “the vast majority” of his electorate and the wider Canterbury region.

He said the overwhelming opposition to the proposal to centralise Three Waters was blatantly evident, particularly across Canterbury, and Labour’s insistence on forging ahead in the face of such public backlash was tone deaf.

Worse still was the fact Kiwis were misled into believing they could have their say, Doocey said, with 88,000 submissions received on that basis from around the country, yet only 227 were listened to.

“They promised New Zealanders that they could opt out of this reform.

“The Waimakariri District Council went to their ratepayers and asked them, and 95 per cent chose to opt out.

“But what do we find from Labour? That it was a legislative all-in – there was no choice.”

Doocey said despite the Bill’s unpopularity, it was clear the Government was intent on ramming it through.

“Come hell or high water, they are going to rush this Bill through Parliament under urgency.”

Waimakariri Mayor Dan Gordon is one of three mayors proposing an alternative Three Waters model, which would retain some key aspects of the Government’s proposal, but at the same time maintain local council ownership.

“I applaud Mayor Gordon for taking this action on behalf of his ratepayers, and I stand by him, his council, and all Waimakariri residents who are fighting this all the way.”

The fact that during the process of the select committee advertisements were running to recruit chief executives to lead the four mega-entities was yet another example of the Government’s arrogance, Doocey said.

“I firmly believe this bill has no mandate in New Zealand, and I want to say well done to Simon Watts for clearly articulating National's position in this debate and making it very clear for those chief executives of those mega-entities who think they've got a cushy job to make the most of it, because you'll be out of a job in a year's time.

“National will repeal this bill because, in fact, it has no mandate from New Zealanders.”