OPINION: We were meant to have some kind of movement on Three Waters before the end of the year.
It was meant to be pushed through the Parliament as part of the government’s annual pre-Christmas legislative rush.
But it hasn’t been. Instead, it’s been shelved until the new year to await the findings of a working group.
And while it’s been sitting on the shelf for a few days, there have been numerous examples of why Three Waters is needed.
Today there’s a case in Inglewood in Taranaki of a poo-nami flooding a woman’s carport and property. Raw sewage: poos, toilet paper, tampons, wet wipes - all over her yard. She’s had to move to a motel with her kids. And it’s not the first time it’s happened.
A good reason why we need Three Waters.
On Sunday, a river of sewage cascaded down the hill of a property in Mission Bay, Auckland. It’s been caused by concrete getting into the pipe and blocking it.
Another good argument why we need Three Waters.
In Carterton, local ratepayers have spent $12m on three new wastewater ponds that have been handed over to the council unfinished. The plastic lining is ripped and tattered and not watertight. And now more ratepayer money is needed to fix it.
Again, another good Three Water argument.
The Wellington City Council is now talking about de-privatising and re-localising its essential services - which it contracted out to other companies. Including water.
While councils are worried about Three Waters being an asset grab - the plain truth is many of them can’t actually run fresh water, wastewater, and stormwater systems.
With all this rain from Tropical Cyclone Ruby, we are seeing far too many examples of sewage spewing up onto properties and also overflowing onto beaches.
Something needs to change.
Councils have been complacent for too long - and I hope when Three Waters comes off the shelf next year at Parliament, Kiwis realise it’s a good move.
It’ll mean fewer poo-namis, and more swimming at the beaches we love.
Catch Lloyd Burr Live every weekday from 4pm on Magic Talk.