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Mahuta’s Working Group On ‘accountability’ Is Laughable

Nanaia Mahuta’s working group to advise on governance and accountability arrangements for the Three Waters Reform Programme is laughable given its make up, says the Taxpayers’ Union.

“The working group was announced in response to 61 of the country's 67 councils rejecting the Three Waters co-governance model. Mahuta has set up the working group to itself be co-governed, with every democratically elected councillor being matched with a hand-picked iwi representative,” said Jordan Williams, a spokesman for the Taxpayers’ Union.

“This is employing foxes to guard the democracy hen house. It shows that Ms Mahuta is set to ignore the complaints by councillors across the country that Three Waters undermines democratic accountability.”

“As if 50/50 iwi control wasn’t enough, the body is stacked with Government sock puppets. Hutt City Council’s Campbell Barry and Nelson City Council’s Rachel Reese make the cut, yet neither have stood with the 61 of 67 Mayors who want local control of water assets.”

“The working group is also not set to report back until March. But the Three Waters Bill is set to be introduced to Parliament next month, presumably with public submissions over summer.”

“How can Kiwis have a say on Three Waters when the Government won’t even have received back the advice on what, if any, changes will be made to the governance? What sort of democracy is that?”

“This is a matter of democracy. The Minister must ensure the public know what the final proposals are as part of the Select Committee process.”

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