Barrie Saunders asks where’s the business media on the $100b nationalisation?
If the Government gets its way, around $100 billion of community owned three waters assets, will be effectively nationalised. They will be placed in the hands of the most convoluted monopoly structure I have seen, with iwi leaders substantially in the drivers’ seat.
One might have thought a transaction of this scale would have attracted the attention of our business journalists, capable of going beyond the so called co-governance aspect.
Are property rights too boring for business journalists these days to matter? . .
The Three Waters proposals haven’t attracted nearly as much media analysis as they ought to have, and too much has centered on criticisms of racism against anyone who questions the role of co-governance.
There are some who think journalists have been bought off by government money. That will be true for some cases but I suspect it’s more likely they are either happy to ride along with the proposals, or are simply too scared of the critics, to engage in this important issue.
Either way it reflects very badly on our business media and leader writers. When I compare the risks take by war journalists and those who live in authoritarian countries such as Russia and Hungary, I know where courageous journalists live. It is not New Zealand.
It’s not too late guys. Just read the Bill and look at what some non mainstream media is publishing.
These are key questions to ask:
Are the three waters operations across the country so uniformly bad, wholesale state control is justified?
How should local authorities be compensated for their loss of property rights?
- If there is to be forced aggregation is four entities the right number, or should it be more like ten to allow some natural groupings to form?
Why are they not based regional council boundaries and why is Gisborne lumped in with Wellington and Nelson?
How can captive customers ensure the new entities are not typical flabby monopolies that gold plate their systems?
Why should iwi have a dominant governance position of assets created by communities since 1840?
Could the new system lead to the entities paying iwi royalties for water which originally comes from the skies?
When the Taxpayers’ Union 3 Waters Roadshow was in Oamaru, Waitaki District mayor Gary Kircher said there would be some reduction in rates if the council lost control of three waters.
That’s only part of the story.
Rates might reduce, but we’ll all be charged for our water usage and with four layers of bureaucracy that will be far, far more expensive than any savings in rates.
National and Act have said they will repeal Three Waters if/when they are in government.
It would be far better to stop the changes happening at all.
The more submissions against the Bill, the greater the chance of that happening.
Submissions can be made here.