Adern clarifies Three Waters as. Clarified
26 November, 2022
Well: she’s done it, as promised.
Our nominal prime minister; The Honourable Jacinda Kate Laurel Ardern, promised to ask the ‘drafters’ of the ‘Three Waters’ legislation to ‘clarify’ the alleged mission-creep, scope-enlargement, call it what you will, in the controversial legislation, the stuff she knew nothing at all about but which you good people were making such a fuss over. She has, and they have.
Luckily for us, the principal drafter of the legislation is also our actual prime minister, the very nice and very Honourable Nanaia Cybele Mahuta, who got straight onto it, belting out a Supplementary Order paper humbly titled “No 306” proposing to clarify those very things that had worry-warts in such a tizzy. Hitting Hansard yesterday we learned from No 306 that the troublesome Section 4 of the ‘3 Waters’ [Water Services Entities] Bill, the very section about Ti Tiriki Tiriti and ‘Te mana o te wai’ which had contained the new guff about ‘coastal’ and ‘geothermal’ water is forthwith amended.
But before No 306 is revealed I urge you all to breathe in and relax, and that those of you requiring regular medication partake of same, because No 306 is more audacious than you could ever have imagined. It is the mother of all turds in the pool, so to speak, because 3-Waters has now become All-Waters. I kid you not:
water — (a) means water in all its physical forms whether flowing or not and whether over or under the ground:
(b) includes fresh water, coastal water, and geothermal water:
(c) does not include water in any form while in any pipe, tank, or cistern
Thank the good Lord for that last line, at least the water in the tank above the khazi is safe from cultural claims; everything else is open slather.
The real prime minister is very smart and doubly sneaky, so 306 doesn’t actually read like that, it’s far more subtle and more nuanced. She knows the nominal prime minister hardly ever reads and certainly does not research the legislation, so Mahuta simply refers to handy previous statutes
And “water, as that term is defined” in Section 2(1) of the Resource Management Act of 1991 is exactly as you see reproduced above, and into which any taniwha can now dip its slippery tentacles.
I try to make light (I’ve never seen a coup unfold before) because the alternative would be to become angry. Very angry. I’ve said before that this Government is the worst, by far, in my lived experience: it’s not. It’s the worst in New Zealand’s history.