IT REMAINS to be seen whether Chris Hipkins can overcome the political contradictions which drove his predecessor from the prime-ministership. Jacinda Ardern resigned her office in recognition of her personal incapacity to confront and overcome the problems that were driving her government inexorably towards defeat. When she told New Zealand that she had “nothing left in the tank”, Ardern was courageously acknowledging that after five-and-a-half years of unrelenting crisis management, she simply could not summon the energy for the political fight required to save her government, her party, and, ultimately, her country.
In many respects Ardern was the author of her own misfortune. In dealing with core challenges confronting the New Zealand state – practically all of which are traceable to the consequences of colonisation – the former prime-minister had demonstrated both excessive cultural generosity and insufficient political realism.
Predictably, the resulting “revolution of rising expectations” so clearly evident among Māori, especially young Māori, has generated an equal and opposite political reaction among the Pakeha population – especially older Pakeha – which is driving the electorate sharply to the right. The prospect of arguing her caucus, her party, and a good chunk of her electoral base into abandoning Labour’s commitment to the radical decolonisation project of its Māori caucus was simply too big an ask for Ardern – so she quit.
A prime minister possessed of less “kindness” and goodwill would have coldly informed Labour’s Māori leadership from the get-go that their programme of constitutional transformation was much too broad and far too radical to impose upon an electorate insufficiently prepared for such a revolutionary “break in the wave” of New Zealand’s political evolution. Ardern should have put it bluntly to Willie Jackson and Nanaia Mahuta, that prior to any enduring legislative changes being attempted by her own, or any, government, the unavoidable philosophical, cultural, and practical political arguments would have to be won – decisively.
All-too-clearly, such an ultimatum was never put to Labour’s Māori caucus. Like so many well-educated and well-meaning Pakeha, Labour’s non-Māori MPs – led by Ardern – were unwilling to challenge the programme being promoted by their Māori colleagues. Fearful of the charge of racism, and mindful of the bitter recriminations that followed Helen Clark’s 2004 Foreshore & Seabed legislation, the Prime Minister and her caucus waved through policies that could only be described as revolutionary.
Except, of course, they were not described – not to the broader electorate. Mahuta commissioned the report that became known as He Puapua in so quiet a fashion that Labour’s NZ First coalition partner was unaware of its existence. The electorate was similarly kept in the dark concerning the document setting 6th February 2040 – the 200th anniversary of the signing of te Tiriti o Waitangi – as the date by which the transformation of New Zealand culturally, politically and economically was to be accomplished.
When, inevitably, the document was leaked, and the public acquired some inkling of what was being considered, Prime Minister Ardern was forced to deny unequivocally that the document in any way represented official government policy. By this stage, however, the electorate was growing sceptical.
That scepticism was not diminished when the full extent of Nanaia Mahuta’s “Three Waters” legislation became known. Putting to one side the bitter controversies arising out of the Labour Government’s handling of the Covid-19 Pandemic, no other government initiative has aroused so much public opposition and suspicion as “Three Waters”. Indeed, it has become a talisman for that part of the electorate which purports to feel the political ground shifting under its feet – even as its government lies, prevaricates, and at times appears to be led by the nose by those with the most to gain from the “Three Waters” legislation’s passage.
And still the case for co-governance, decolonisation and indigenisation is not made. The construction of an argument from first principles may indeed have been accomplished by the project’s Māori initiators, but, if it has, then it has been presented in the absence of Pakeha, a critical news media, and always behind firmly closed doors.
Moreover, it is not a case which the Māori Development Minister, Willie Jackson, is prepared to put in front of his Cabinet colleagues. He knows that, even among Pakeha as sympathetic as Labour’s, the arguments and recommendations contained therein simply would not fly. In recognition of their sheer unacceptability, Jackson has announced his determination to keep the revolutionaries’ interpretation of te Tiriti o Waitangi and its constitutional implications under wraps – at least until the general election is out of the way.
But it is precisely this sort of political cynicism that is fast eroding Labour’s support in the opinion polls. “Three Waters” may be the leading cause of voter disillusion, but it is merely emblematic of the voters’ growing unease that this government is hell-bent on doing things to them, rather than for them.
In considering Labour’s deteriorating electoral position, and its causes, over her summer break, all the while contending with the unrelenting torrents of misogynist and conspiracist hate pouring down upon her head from social media, Ardern correctly concluded that the task of righting Labour’s ship was beyond her powers. Without Winston Peters’ ability to stare down her Māori caucus, Ardern had conceded far too much ground to Jackson and Mahuta, more than she could hope to reclaim personally.
Boxed into a corner ideologically, electorally, and personally, Ardern rightly concluded that her best (and only sensible) move was to exit the game entirely. Only someone coming into the top job fresh, and unburdened by the concessions of five-and-a-half prime-ministerial years, could entertain the slightest hope of prevailing upon his colleagues to change course.
There is little doubt that Ardern’s successor, Chris (“Chippy”) Hipkins, has the necessary spinal steel to demand, and be given, a new set of political co-ordinates. On the vexed questions of co-governance, decolonisation and indigenisation, the new prime minister need not even repudiate the Māori caucus’s revolutionary ambitions, merely state the obvious truth that they have so-far failed to convince their fellow citizens that such radical constitutional changes are either necessary or desirable. In the same breath, he can then reassure the Pakeha electorate that Labour will never connive in the arbitrary imposition of a new, ethnically-bifurcated, constitution from above. To be accepted, constitutional changes must first be ratified, democratically, by all the people.
Were Hipkins to make this position clear to the Māori leaders gathered at Ratana – that they must win the debate for change before attempting to legislate their programme into being – a significant fraction of the Pakeha electorate, quite possibly a winning fraction, would be both relieved and reassured. As a consequence, both the National and Act parties would be forced to discard some pretty important face cards from what had been their very strong electoral hands.
In the days and weeks ahead, as the Hipkins ministry takes shape, the only question that matters is whether New Zealand’s new prime minister possesses both the wisdom and the courage to correct his party’s currently suicidal political course. If “Chippy” is able to steer Labour into less contentious and more bounteous electoral waters, then Jacinda Ardern’s sacrifice will not have been in vain.
This essay was originally posted on the Interest.co.nz website on Monday, 23 January 2023.
I wish Mr Hipkins every success. But it will take a lot to get me to ever trust the parliamentary Labour party again. A party with a declared 'Maori caucus' cannot be 'one for all and all for one'.
Quite right Chris, Though lest not forget thab the Cabinet and entire caucus has allowed itself to be mesmerised into this ward spiral ,.He Chippy appears to have to have a clear head- which is somentung that Ardern did not have, Sepaloni is also less polarising than Kiri Allan.
The only question that matters isn't whether New Zealand’s new prime minister possesses both the wisdom and the courage to correct his party’s currently suicidal political course.
The important question is whether Hipkins appreciates the level to which rednecks and ignorance rule in NZ and will accept that most New Zealanders alive now will never see negatives in colonisation or accept that core challenges confronting the New Zealand state have anything to do with colonisation.
Jacinda Ardern’s sacrifice as some sort of visual icon cannot compete will the graphic of thousands living in motels. It could be Michael Woodhouse, it could be Simeon Brown, it could be Noddy, as long as it's someone in National they will be seen as having the answer and then action to that situation.
The suicidal political course was not being able to sort that out. Excuses and reasons don't come into in. The root causes? Not interested.
We want potholes in roads fixed but we don't want road works. Three Waters? We want perfect situations with waters but we don't want to pay or have changes made to what happens now.
The new PM primarily has to possess the wisdom and the courage to acknowledge foremost we are a pack of dumbarses and act accordingly.
Trust is the operative word, as Jack points out. I will never trust the Labour Party again because of the prevarication, which has been apparent all the way along. Every person connected with this racist coup is tainted - despicable - the backbenchers who have just 'gone along', but most frightening of all the senior policy-makers, lawyers and members of the judiciary, who have been willing to bend the truth to curry favour with iwi. Ugh!
Thanks to you Chris for your honesty and integrity.
Trust will be a big problem going forward. Chris can make all the claims he wants to prior to the election, unfortunately his party has shown that they have no interest in following through.
It will be constued as just posturing to win the election, then back to whatever they want. Especially if the Maori Party become the king maker and use their position to enforce what they want pushed through.
Is it the Maori caucus were hell bent on a kamikaze mission with Labour to achieve their objectives because 3 Waters definitely looks like it, or were they blind to the permanent damage they were inflicting?
And Arden's brand was spent. There was no way she could lead Labour any further without sinking the party so she had no choice but to go.
Chippy must know he's taking the ultimate hit for the team accepting this poison chalice and I truly hope he saves the ship so it survives as a political entity, although I'm guessing he knows it will come at his expense!
Of course it could be that if Hipkins derails the co-governance issue, then the entire Maori Caucus may abandon Labour and take the Maiori vote with them thus sabotaging Labour's re-election likelihood....
New Zealanders will never accept an outcome where their civil and political rights are determined by ethnicity or ancestry. Yet this is what Labour have attempted to force upon the country. They will not be trusted again.
“And still the case for co-governance, decolonisation and indigenisation is not made.”
There may be such a case to be made, but it will not be based upon the text or the intent of the Treaty of Waitangi.
As I understand it, the core ‘dispute’ amongst the more radical expression of Maoridom is one of Sovereignty. Keeping mind there is no mention of partnership in the treaty document as it is an entirely modern construct.
The Crown whose authority is expressed through our Government understood Sovereignty was ceded to itself in the Treaty, radical Maori do not. (Full treaty text in link below):
However, even if you dismiss Article (1) of the Treaty which explicitly declares Maori Chiefs cede sovereignty to the Crown, the remaining two articles affirm that Crown sovereignty is core to the documents text.
Article (2) guarantees Maori possession of their lands forestries fisheries and estates HOWEVER should Maori wish to sell their lands, the Crown has ‘preemptive rights’ of purchase. Note well, a sovereign people do not cede preemptive rights over their land to anyone. Maori agreed to this clause because they fully understood the English translation in Article (1) which the radicals now contest.
Article (3) granted Maori full protection of the Crown and all rights and privileges of British Subjects. Note well, a ‘Subject’ of the Crown is implicitly acknowledging the Sovereignty of the Crown. Again this was fully understood by Maori at the time of signing.
All three articles of the treaty explicitly or implicitly state that Maori are ceding sovereignty to the Crown. We can debate it, but those are the facts.
By way further context, the proposed treaty was discussed in hui for days prior to the signing, and because ceding sovereignty was justifiably contentious some Chiefs, albeit a minority refused to sign.
We need to keep in mind that the treaty followed thirty years of inter-tribal musket wars, Maori against Maori, and the Chiefs realised that unless the rule of law was established and enforced by the Crown, they risked killing each other into extinction. The treaty provided an important means of ensuring self preservation for Maori. In addition, it was not just the British who wanted New Zealand for themselves, the French and Germans were also possible contenders. Maori Chiefs were pragmatic enough to understand that a Treaty with Britain of the type proposed was a better option than taking their chances with other nations who might prove less sympathetic to their indigenous status.
By all means let's have the discussion.
"Jacinda Ardern resigned her office in recognition of her personal incapacity to confront and overcome the problems that were driving her government inexorably towards defeat...................."
Nothing to do with this then:https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/131038776/nine-out-of-10-hateful-posts-tracked-in-darkest-corners-of-the-internet-targeted-ardern--new-study
I support the co governance as set out in He Puapua. I hope that minister Mahuta can wrangle 3 Waters to salve the aging, rusty and asbestos laden pipes holding up the infrastructure. And I am an aged Pakeha rural women intend to vote for such policies
Thankyou Chris a wise and very useful analysis this is a major problem both for Maori and non - maori to solve
Blame will not help . But it will be a very long time before Labour people forgive the Maori Caucus for the role it played in the demise of their brilliant Prime Minister
@ kat, no nothing to do with that.
Pitch perfect post today Chris, very welcome.
"he can then reassure the Pakeha electorate that Labour will never connive in the arbitrary imposition of a new, ethnically-bifurcated, constitution from above. To be accepted, constitutional changes must first be ratified, democratically, by all the people"
I do not believe that Chippie was a unanimous choice without major deals being done with the Maori Caucus. If, as you say, Chippie can do this (and as a Mallard apprentice, I'd say likely) then that's fantastic. But I dont think it will happen, I cant see Chippie doing more than tinkering around the edges of 3 Waters and Co Governance will go quiet for a while.
Other initiatives will get knocked on the head and there will be some sweeteners. Then if Labour make it back into power, we will then see the true cost of the deal that brought Chippie to power.
Currently I think we are looking at a smoothly manufactured transition in power which after all the hyperbole and media inches, will result in little more than the 'Emperor's New Clothes'.
When the rights of citizens are determined by their ethnicity it is totally corrupt and this is what this government is attempting to do. Chris Hipkins has been donkey deep in this from the start so what will change. I have a question for them. There once was a guy called Hitler that tried to do that. How did it work out for him?
Yes of course they would
But would that necessarily mean Labour losing the election . Many in the party and the electorate at large would welcome a lessening if Maori influence .
The problem Chris Hipkins might still have with However Many It Is Now Waters was demonstrated by an old mate of yours, Chris, Neale Jones on National Radio with Kathryn Ryan. I paraphrase a bit, but his basic attitude was that the case for However Many It Is Now Waters is a "slam dunk" and only nutty conspiracy theorists could oppose it, so anyone who does must be a nutty conspiracy theorist.
Hang on a minute, Neale. How many people have died from contaminated water since the Havelock North water was contaminated? How many are currently under boil water notices? Have previously unchlorinated water supplies been chlorinated? Have interim measures such as chlorination been adequate while longer term solutions are worked out? Why then the rush under urgency? Why the sneaky attempt at entrenchment?
If new infrastructure needs a lot of money, who is going to pay? Surely the only honest answer to that from the government to the population is "all of you". Some way or another, directly or indirectly, as taxpayers or ratepayers. "Your rates will go up if we don't do this". The government has discovered a magic money tree that works just for water infrastructure? I don't think so.
Why are so many councils so pissed off with central government? Could it be because what looks like a hostile takeover, grabbing assets and undercutting local democracy is, in fact, exactly what it looks like?
And why the four regional water bodies? Do the boundaries fit with Maori tribal boundaries to help with co-governance arrangements? Who are the bodies to put up Maori representatives? How are they selected, and by whom? How does anyone with a problem with their water get it fixed? I think these are reasonable questions, and (you'll have to take my word on this) I'm not a right wing conspiracy theorist, even though I am asking questions.
So proud of you for making this stand! I too am an aging Pākehā woman in support of these policies!
I guess someone as 'waspish' (Trotter 2007) as Hipkins might be able to impose his will. :)
The problem is Brendan, that article 2 was honoured more in the breach than the observance. If it had been properly honoured the Maori economic situation would be much, much better today. Unfortunately their economic base was essentially stolen from them.
Funny how you are very keen on the sovereignty thing but tend to ignore the possession thing. Not unusual amongst conservative commenters.
I've never heard a cogent, coherent critique of three waters. Lots of vague pronouncements though. I suspect that much of the fuss is from those incompetents who have managed to neglect our waters, and who will miss out on the perquisites of power associated with water systems – such as they are. :)
And of course the usual suspects who get their knickers in a twist every time Maori are seen to be getting something for nothing. This is water – it's not a zero-sum game. If Maori are given co-governance of water, what's taken away from Pakeha – except for those who benefit from running it now, and who have tended to run it into the ground. In fact the Maori attitude towards water which is less centred on commodity, and more on purity goes down quite well with me.
I'd love to know what Maori are going to do in the eyes of their critics that's so terrible. No one seems to be able to give a coherent answer to that either, just wild speculation on price increases and the like. Well, I can tell you this that price increases on water/rates are going to be pretty much inevitable given the state of water in various areas of the country. You don't get new pipes for nothing.
Chris: "A prime minister possessed of less “kindness” and goodwill would have coldly informed Labour’s Māori leadership from the get-go".
Did she just go along with them out of kindness or cowardice?
She realised that there would be a massive resistance to the ethno nationalist "reforms"/revolution, that's why they were hidden from the people at the last election. That cynical deception is the main reason I, and many others, have utter contempt for Labour and Jacinda Ardern. They straight out lied to us and went ahead with changes that cut to the heart of our democratic principles; no one should forget or forgive that.
Kat, nice theory but Jacinda has specifically said that she is not leaving because of online abuse. I'd be surprised if she even reads that stuff - the fawning media BS is another story.
And what are "decolonisation" and "indigenisation" if not a return to tribalism, which was the social system which prevailed in these islands before European settlement? Ironically, escaping from the never-ending cycle of inter-tribal conflict was one of the main reasons Maori leaders agreed to the establishment of British sovereignty and the rule of British law via the Treaty of Waitangi.
As Voltaire pointed out, Rousseau was indulging in a nonsensical fantasy through his idolizing of tribal man. There is little that is attractive about tribalism as an organising principle for humanity. Tribalism is top-down, inflexible and backward-looking.
And yet the Left are drawn towards tribalism's totalitarian, collectivist ethos. It was Karl Popper who saw clearly the connection, noting that both fascism and communism are forms of "arrested tribalism".
The German economist Herbert Giersch has made explicit the connection between tribalism and National Socialism as follows, "In Germany much of the instinctual morality of the tribe was taken up and abused by National Socialism in an esoteric-romantic variant to exploit the readiness of people to submit. `You are nothing, your people is all'... -- these were typical slogans by which the propaganda of the `Thousand Year Reich' tried to transfer tribal morality to macro society."
I would say to those on the Left who champion the "decolonisation""and "indigenisation" of New Zealand you are welcome to enjoy your tribalist fantasies within the privacy of your own home but the rest of us have moved on into the 21st century, where we have learned to control those potentially dangerous atavistic urges, indulging them only occasionally for example during an All Blacks test match.
I acknowledge the late Roger Sandall, the New Zealand born anthropologist, for his insights on tribalism in his lecture published by Bassett, Brash and Hide on 18 January.
Whether or not he understands what co-governance is and means for the country, the incoming PM wants to park the matter until the electorate has had a chance to discuss it. Well, that's a promising change from the long deception of the Crown's in camera renegotiations of the Treaty with Māori nationalists.
But the matter and its underlying Treaty presumptions really ought to be discussed sincerely, in full and substantially resolved (preferably by Royal Commission) before it is left to incoming governments to make their own determinations unilaterally, as this treaty-bewildered Labour government has done. And, following the guarantee of equal citizenship in Article Three of the original treaty, Kiwis of all ethnicities are entitled to engagement, not simply dismissible consultation over a draft final proposal. Māori no longer tolerate mere consultation; nor should non-Māori citizens.
But the biggest obstacle to meaningful debate about the place of co-governance in our constitutional affairs is that it has already been embedded in public affairs by this government.
The NZ public service has consolidated the doctrine of co-governance in its intensifying partnership arrangements with iwi. Contrary to the rhetoric of inclusivity, these are fundamentally exclusive and quasi-constitutional by nature.
Policy and practice are now subject to approval by iwi exercising de facto rights of veto surrendered by Departments and Ministries bound legislatively to comply with treaty principles. In some sectors, the partnership has become a master-servant relationship (we say, you pay) in which the Crown defers to Māori sentiment for fear of upsetting its litigiously minded partner. The Crown can no longer be trusted to defend the broader public interest. Accordingly, this Labour government has abandoned the defining, long-entrenched principle of equality and evenhandedness in public management by locking non-Māori Kiwis and their interests out of the room on matters of state and public practice.
It is fatally naive to believe that any future government responding to contrary public mood would be prepared to tell iwi that the extraordinary co-governance privileges they've been granted already are to be subdued or withdrawn. It is disingenuous at best (cynically dissembling at worst) of the new PM and his cabinet to suggest otherwise on the threshold of their promised public debate.
"Kat, nice theory but Jacinda has specifically said that she is not leaving because of online abuse."
Of course she has. If she said she was leaving because of the abuse it would lead to more abuse and intimations that she wasn't hard enough to "hack it". It's difficult for politicians to show "weakness" because people like you pounce on it and use it as a stick to beat them with. It was a no-win situation for her. But I guarantee it certainly contributed to her lack of gas in the tank.
"And what are "decolonisation" and "indigenisation" if not a return to tribalism, which was the social system which prevailed in these islands before European settlement?"
There is no tribalism in Europe today? Goodness me if you think that you really should read a little more widely. Perhaps we should ask the people of Yugoslavia, among others? And if Maori got out of the endless cycle of tribal wars, they inherited a European endless cycle of tribal wars – World War I, World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan.
Honestly, you conservatives really should get over this whole business of "they was all fighting and eating each other before we arrived", because as I have mentioned before – the British fought a war approximately every 18 months during the 19th century. And I think we can pretty much guarantee that World War I and World War II killed off more than all the tribal wars put together. Europeans really need to get off their high horse when it comes to attributing violence to Maori and ignoring their own.
I agree with you that Article (2) of the Treaty was ignored by the Crown on numerous occasions when it suited their purposes. That shameful fact does not make the Treaty redundant, it has instead resulted in a plethora of claims before the Waitangi Tribunal. While most of these claims have been settled, and there have been various apologies from the Crown, I accept that any and all compensation will inevitably fall short of some people’s expectations. This is unavoidable if we are to avoid imposing yet another round of injustice on innocent parties.
Most of us are still doing our best to retain faith in the democratic process which recently has begun to morph into anything the Government says it is. Maori may reasonably contend that has always been the case for them.
The Treaty was an imperfect means by which two imperfect peoples might live together as one. While this will always be a ‘work in progress’ it must never become the reason for implementing race based policies of the type proposed by the present Government.
Strictly speaking Brendan – AFAIK if the treaty has been broken by one party the other side can demand a reversion to the status quo ante. You might be in trouble if that happens – I've already been offered a job mate. :)
But kudos for actually admitting that your ancestors and mind perhaps did something wrong. Not very often that happens with the anti-woke brigade.
"I agree with you that Article (2) of the Treaty was ignored by the Crown on numerous occasions when it suited their purposes. "
In that case Brendan why are you arguing for a strict interpretation of sovereignty yet seem to accept a less strict interpretation for compensation for their possessions? Seems a bit inconsistent to me.
Something ongoing for the rotten tomato throwers to deny.
"Given eight individuals have attended court proceedings for alleged death threats made against the Prime Minister, it is clear that this online rhetoric has a real-world impact........."
Labour screwed up everything they touched no failure was beyond them, something you blithely ignore.
The Treaty has somehow morphed into a new version that literally has zero relevance to the original, it’s truly a miracle. Far be from it for the media stooges to actually question the nonsensical updated version, in fact they promulgate the fictional Treaty. Maori are loudly demanding something they were never given in 1840 and if you disagree you’re a racist no wonder the electorate are unhappy.
Well said. This is all so true. Unfortunately.
GS at 10.57 Agree totally.
...this government is hell-bent on doing things to them, rather than for them. I don't agree with this shortened statement. The whole should be - 'better with them, and alongside them'.
EP used to mean extended play for a small record. I hope that is not irs meaning here.
I will never trust the Labour Party again because of the prevarication, which has been apparent all the way along. Every person connected with this racist coup is tainted - despicable - the backbenchers who have just 'gone along', but most frightening of all the senior policy-makers, lawyers and members of the judiciary, who have been willing to bend the truth to curry favour with iwi. Ugh!
That indeed is a very tainted comment. The bi-cultural way must be sought, with better government that is practical, mixing idealism and pragmatism (difficulties here) which works for the people. Easy riders and dwelling-business owners,large-scale renters, land speculators, agitators for extravagant stadiums and public buildings will be the people who destroy NZ/Aotearoa. If Maori are not able to balance their expectations towards the possible and reasonable, they will foul their own nest. But they will have to control the clique referred to above, who must be very vocal in their own corner, quite despicable in their wants, and very frightened about stories that Maori will bite their ar..s.
This seems to be all interior knowledge. What's going on in Labour.
Exterior, I didn't notice. So, thanks for the insight.
God help the rational Left.
Why is rationality never the Left's programme? In the last days to prevent the species' extinction?
In our country, the mental midget, Douglas.
So glad for GS, he always speaks true amid the mystification.
That I have to point out him is sad. Like pointing out Reich and Sanders. Too few.
Yep, I left out you NZ ...
Same anon as 23 January at 20:09, Chris. If you will indulge me, some further thoughts on However Many it is Now Waters, after the Auckland deluge.
Among the calls for adaptation, voices were calling for more "sponginess", i.e.more gardens, parks and berms in the city, the better to soak up stormwater. Unfortunately, the city as it was 60 years or so ago was much more "spongy". There was less of it, with more houses on large sections with gardens, lawns and trees. Increasing intensification has greatly reduced "sponginess". So does However Many it is Now Waters powers over storm water trump city council planning? Does it trump central government's drive to housing intensification? If sports fields, like the Auckland Domain cricket grounds, are intended to flood temporarily as part of coping with storms, does maintenance and administration
of sports grounds and parks pass to the new water bodies?
Perhaps a reduction to Two Waters, leaving stormwater to existing councils, might help sell new arrangements. Co-governance could remain at local level, with existing arrangements remaining between councils and iwi. The engineering and technical issues of supplying clean water and treating wastewater could be left to specialists, under Two Waters.
However, I think I would prefer a total cleanup, myself. Recognise a polluted mess for what it is, drain it, clean up, and then start again, on a different base.
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