“Labour’s Three Waters announcement today is nothing but a ‘faux backdown’ which has only occurred due to massive public backlash and the calculated loss of political capital they would endure,” says Rt Hon Winston Peters Leader of New Zealand First.
“It is not a coincidence that this announcement comes just days after the embarrassment of Rotorua District Council dropping the Labour-backed Māori Ward Bill – which clearly they have learnt very little from.”
“Make no mistake, Three Waters is the manifestation of Labour’s race-based co-governance agenda which is only leading to New Zealand becoming a separatist state.”
“The fact is you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear – and the Three Waters programme is the entire sow of the government’s co-governance agenda. This agenda will continue to expand with the government intending to maintain this race-based representation in the regional representative groups.”
“Ratepayers own these assets and they should be owned and managed at every level based on what is best for them all – not what is best based on race relations.”
“No matter how Labour want it to be framed, this debate is not about whether co-governance should operate at the local or regional level - it is about the principle that race-based co-governance should not exist in our democracy at all," says Mr Peters.
“Labour have had to back down in the face of losing political capital – but they still believe that co-governance should exist at every level of democracy."
"The fair-weathered nature of their face to the public should be the biggest cause for concern. This agenda is not going away and will continue to be pushed by the government via any means necessary – this is the start of the slippery slope.”
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