Celebrating 25 Years of Scoop
Special: Up To 25% Off Scoop Pro Learn More

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Mahuta Was Working On Entrenchment For Weeks

More evidence has emerged showing that Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta was working on entrenchment in her Three Waters legislation weeks before it was voted on in the House, shadow Leader of the House Chris Bishop says.

“Cabinet agreed in May 2022 to not pursue entrenchment in the Three Waters legislation, but it’s now clear that Ms Mahuta blatantly ignored this and carried on with her desire to put entrenchment in anyway.”

Answers to Written Parliamentary Questions show that Ms Mahuta received advice on entrenchment from officials on 25 October 2022, nearly a month before the critical Three Waters vote in Parliament.

The advice followed a letter from Green MP Eugenie Sage signalling to Ms Mahuta that the Greens may progress their plans to include an entrenchment provision preventing privatisation “and the Government would need to decide whether to support it”.

“On November 22 Ms Mahuta explicitly received advice from the Department of Internal Affairs on Supplementary Order Paper 285 (the entrenchment SOP), which was the same day the committee stage debate on Three Waters began,” Mr Bishop says.

“This timeline is damning. The Government has tried to make out as if Labour’s decision to support the entrenchment SOP from the Greens was simply a mistake, made almost accidentally.

“The reality is much worse. Ms Mahuta knew in October that the Greens would likely advance an SOP to entrench part of Three Waters. Then she got advice on the actual SOP just as the committee stage debate started.

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading

Are you getting our free newsletter?

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.

“This is now strike three against Ms Mahuta. The first strike was the disclosure that Cabinet had explicitly agreed not to pursue entrenchment, which she then voted for anyway. The second was her refusal to consult Justice Minister Kiri Allan about the entrenchment issue, a second breach of the Cabinet Manual. Now we’ve learned she had been working away on entrenchment for weeks.

“Ms Mahuta seems to regard Cabinet decisions as mere inconveniences to be ignored when she chooses. The Prime Minister needs to show some leadership, pull her Minister into line and sack her.”

© Scoop Media

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines




InfoPages News Channels


Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.