Jacinda Ardern 'standing firm' on Three Waters, hints the reform could have some changes

  • 05/11/2022

The Government is standing firm on Three Waters but hints the reform could be in for some changes.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the Government is open to changes on the policy but seems to be sticking with its controversial co-government aspect.

Speaking to Simon Shepherd on Newshub Nation, Ardern said the Government is continuing with the water infrastructure reform because if left unchanged, water rate bills will increase by thousands of dollars.

"We are open to changes, but what we are standing really firm on is that this is a cost of living issue," Ardern said. 

She said that is why they are currently going through a select committee process, which is where the public can make a submission on this legislation. 

When asked whether Labour would make changes to the co-governance model, Ardern replied that wasn't the most significant issue people had with Three Waters.

She said local representation and local service delivery were concerns that were coming through stronger, such as ensuring that if you have an issue, no matter where you are in the country, you will be served.

"So let's think about how we can guarantee that for local communities," Ardern said.

She said Three Waters is a cost of living issue.

"No one is out there campaigning for the alternative other than the National Party, which is do nothing and let rates rise, because that is inevitably what will absolutely happen if we do not change the structure of our water infrastructure."

Former Labour candidate and political commentator Josie Pagani said on Newshub Nation's political panel Ardern has indicated the Government is rethinking Three Waters.

"They are going to reframe it, they might even rename it, so that's interesting. They are realising they can't go into next year with a bunch of unpopular policies," Pagani said. 

"I mean, good luck finding three people that actually understand Three Waters, everybody hates it."

Watch Ardern's full interview on Newshub Nation above.