Northern Action Group (NAG) has joined the chorus of opposition to the Government’s Three Waters Reforms, saying the Government has employed classic “PR propaganda tactics” to further its agenda.
In a newsletter released earlier this month, NAG chair Bill Foster says the propaganda tactics have included manufacturing a crisis to scare people into supporting the proposed action, paying experts to support “the narrative” and talking about results from “modelling”, but without providing any details that can be questioned.
Mr Foster says there is no “national crisis” with respect to water.
“This is just using apocalyptic language to scare people into thinking that the only solution is for the ‘benevolent’ Government to take it over for us,” he says.
Mr Foster says the governance structure of the entities, which would replace councils’ management of drinking water, wastewater and stormwater, is “just a political construct”.
“Does anyone seriously believe that the proposed appointed, unrepresentative bureaucracy will actually prioritise small rural projects over politically impressive, iconic and big urban ones?” he says.
“Just look at the Auckland amalgamation experience if you think that.”
Despite the opposition, the Government remains committed to the Three Waters reforms.
In a statement last month, Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta said it was clear that without the establishment of the proposed publically owned entities, New Zealand would continue to see frail networks and contaminated water in many communities.