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Taxpayer Union roadshow meets Mangawhai

 

 

11 July, 2022

JULIA WADE

thumbnail 13 MF-Taxpayersunion-695A travelling roadshow aimed at ramping up support for a social advocate organisation’s ‘Stop Three Waters’ campaign, rolled into Mangawhai on July 2, and were greeted by a strong crowd of over a hundred interested locals.

Coming to a halt outside Kaipara District Council’s Mangawhai Village office, members of the New Zealand Taxpayers Union (NZTU) highlighted the concerns of ratepayers and local councils opposed to what they call ‘the undemocratic Three Waters asset grab’.

Campaign manager, Louis Houlbrooke, says the gathering in Mangawhai was a great success, with around 120 locals attending, three times more than events held in Wellington.

“People in rural New Zealand are acutely aware of the dangers of central control of water assets, especially those on private water networks who have already been whacked with costly new regulations,” he says. “Under the proposed Northern water monopoly, Kaipara will receive just one seat out of 14 – a tiny local voice likely to be drowned out by the interests of 1.5 million Aucklanders. And as we’ve done across the country, we challenged the absurd premise that removing democratic accountability from water services will deliver better value for ratepayers.”

Local elected representatives were also invited to speak on how the Three Waters regime will affect their region’s democratic control with Kaipara mayor Dr Jason Smith and councillors Jonathan Larsen and Victoria del La Varis-Woodcock picking up the megaphone to express their thoughts and concerns.

Local members of New Zealand’s grassroots movement Voices For Freedom also attended the roadshow, and a representative says it was good to see people giving some attention to the contentious bill.

“We’ve been encouraging public interest in these reforms. I really liked the way the mayor spoke with such passion, he sounded genuine which was good to hear. However, it would have been good to have some big public meetings to discuss this matter earlier on in this process.”

Mangawhai was number 40 out of 43 events on the roadshow’s nationwide 5000km, five week tour, the group traversing across country from Invercargill to Kerikeri and meeting over 10,000 concerned kiwis.

NZTU say they were also joined by dozens of councillors, mayors and MPs who spoke up for local democracy and signed the Community Leaders Appeal calling on Jacinda Ardern to protect local democracy and stop Three Waters.

“We’re glad Kaipara’s mayor could make the trip into town, along with the two councillors,” Houlbrooke says. “We understand locals will have justified gripes with some of their council services, but at least in the Kaipara District you’ve got representatives willing to fight for the principles of local democracy, and loudly too.”

 

Members of the New Zealand Taxpayers Union, along with Kaipara elected representatives, highlighted the concerns of ratepayers and local councils opposed to what they call ‘the undemocratic Three Waters asset grab’. PHOTO/SUPPLIED


 
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