Admission of defeat

Labour could have reversed the entrenchment clause in the Three Five Waters BIll.

Instead it’s referring it to parliament’s Business Committee.

Labour is in the early stages of a backdown on its controversial decision to entrench parts of the Three Waters legislation – a move constitutional experts said set a “dangerous precedent”.

The move came as Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Leader of the House Chris Hipkins admitted to not being aware that a fresh move to entrench a part of the bill had been put until after it was passed. Official advice provided to Local Government minister Nanaia Mahuta more than a year ago warned that even Labour’s original entrenchment proposal could be constitutionally damaging.

Ardern said Cabinet considered the issue of the entrenchment clause on Monday and resolved to kick the matter back to Parliament’s Business Committee – a cross-party group of MPs that discuss the running of Parliament. . . 

This will ensure the matter stays in the news for longer giving the many critics even more ammunition against the whole proposal.

Labour dug itself a hole over this from the start and has kept on digging in spite of overwhelming opposition from the councils which own the assets the government plans to take and the majority of people in several polls.

Why, instead of slowing the whole process down and trying to take councils and the public with it, is it bulldozing it through under urgency and why did it try to entrench some parts of the legislation?

Could it be an admission of defeat?

Could it be that it knows it can’t win next year and is trying to get as much done, and done as soon as it can and in such a way as to make it harder for the new National-led government to undo it?

Fortunately the undoing will be possible and Stephen Franks has helpfully drafted a way it could be done.

It’s just a pity that even more millions of dollars will be wasted on the bulldozing before that can happen.

2 Responses to Admission of defeat

  1. pdm1946 says:

    What a shame Stephen Franks did not stay in politics and parliament.

    He would have been an excellent Justice Minister or Attorney General and perhaps Prime Minister although that would be difficult to achieve from the ACT Party – unfortunately.


  2. It was plainly obvious that the entrenchment SOP was cooked up between Green MP Eugenie Sage and Labour Minister Nania Mahuta deliberately, without the knowledge of either the PM or the Leader of the House and under urgency at night so that it would have the best chance of it getting passed unchallenged.
    Given her track record to date and her total disregard for the mood of the majority of local government and the electorate at large, Mahuta deserves to be sacked as the minister for local government.
    Though I doubt the PM would have the intestinal fortitude to do so, even if it meant improving Labour’s chances of retaining the treasury benches at the next election.


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