Waatea News Column: How to turn Three Waters into a vote winning issue

There has been speculation by political pundits that Nanaia Mahuta should step aside from her role in Three Waters because local councils are upset and because the negative politics play to a narrative of Māori are taking the water.

There is fear that Three Waters is a poisoned chalice where every local gob wanting to make a name for themselves will run on a weird anti-Three Waters platform this local politics election season.

This fear argues we should water down Three Waters and concede the goal of a more sustainable water infrastructure.

I believe those pundits are wrong and that Nanaia is the exact political leader with the mana to see this through!

Make this an issue of public water versus privatisation of water. ACT and National could attempt to privatise any future Three Waters assets and that is the political divide on the issue.

Three Waters should also be a determination of water sovereignty by stopping foreign water bottling companies. Each Free Trade deal has a Waitangi Tribunal clause that allows for contracts to be ended if they breach Waitangi Tribunal obligations.

This way, Three Waters becomes a public ownership issue while using the Treaty of Waitangi to protect water sovereignty for every New Zealander.

Three Waters is a vote winner if it’s true values are revealed to Kiwis.

First published on Waatea News.

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