Public ownership and Māori involvement essential for three waters entities

Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand

The Green Party is stressing the importance of public ownership and meaningful iwi Māori involvement in the governance of the new three waters entities announced by the Government today.

“We welcome the work being done to prevent possible privatisation of our water infrastructure under any future governments. That’s been a major concern for us,” says Green Party spokesperson for Three Waters Eugenie Sage.

“Access to clean water is a basic human right and a public good. Water infrastructure must remain publicly owned and its governance must be representative of local communities and mana whenua. We support statutory recognition of the Te Tiriti o Waitangi and Te Mana o te Wai in legislation.

“New Zealanders and our environment are still paying the costs of poorly considered deregulation of the energy sector by Max Bradford. The challenges in improving three waters are significant and we need to get it right.

“The details of the ownership structures and proposed checks on privatisation proposed needs to be clearly communicated to the public sooner, rather than later. Large monopoly suppliers will need checks on their powers.

“Now is the time for New Zealanders to be consulted on the proposals for economic regulation. Big entities are not always nimble or responsive to the needs of people and communities, and a lot more discussion is needed.”

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