(NZ) Water Services Act 2021

Mark Hubbard's picture
Submitted by Mark Hubbard on Mon, 2022-03-14 00:45

That's an innocuous sounding little Act isn't it, snuck through while everybody was worrying about Three Waters, and just as bad as it's laying the foundation for Three Waters. Busy at the moment so I'm simply copying and pasting the submission I made against the the Act's intrusive and wasteful provisions, emailed this Saturday. You'll see what it's about from reading it, and you can also imagine how huge this new bureaucracy - Taumata Arowai - already is.

If anyone reading this is on an affected private scheme you need to submit against; you have until the 28th March.

Submission regarding Water Services Act 2021.

I’m in one of twenty houses in the Marlborough Sounds on the Hoods Bay private water scheme, and frankly I begrudge having to spend time I haven’t got submitting against Labour’s new water regulatory body’s unnecessary mandate to micro-manage such schemes: there are thousands in the Marlborough Sounds alone.

Please note that although I am one of the directors of our well organised private scheme, this submission is not on behalf of the scheme but from myself. I shall be urging all the other houses to submit against (I’m aware one already has).

I don’t have the time to read through all the rules about to be enforced on us – and if I did, regardless, I wouldn’t bother as I know this submission will make no difference, the government bringing in the Water Services Act 2021 has scant regard by this stage for democratic values. I was flabbergasted to be honest to be rung, out of the blue, by one of the new agency’s officers, on the same day as a dairy client down in South Canterbury was also rung because he supplies water to three employee houses: your bureaucracy and intrusive espionage ability must already be huge, and the email he sent me to your site only served to make me angrier. Neither the rules nor this submission process has been made easy to understand, let alone follow, and we are all busy people with a lot on at the moment, if you care to look around at our Covid hollowed out economy, and you may have noticed yourselves that our cost of living is skyrocketing without further costs on something so basic as our water supply to be imposed by this regulation. Although, all that aside, the point of this submission is also to say, that if left up to me, I simply have no intention of following these rules under this Act.

Our scheme has been operating safely and cheaply for decades. We do not need an over-bearing government authority messing us around adding bureaucratic inconvenience and cost for no benefit or greater safety, but at great cost to the taxpayer.

End of. I shouldn’t need to say anything else.

Again, I cannot speak for the other houses, but my preferred approach will be passive resistance: I will do nothing to comply with this nonsense, I will not be registering our scheme, if that happens for our scheme someone else will have to do so; your officers can ring as much as they like to bind up your resources, it will make no difference. And I hope this happens around the country so the new authority’s costs blow out. My intention will be to stay out of your regulatory ambit for as long as we can out to the next general election in the hope this government, and this particular senseless new red tape, are both voted out.

So, with respect – well, not really – please leave us alone. That’s not a lot to ask. Although I’ll note that foundational to a free society and free lives is the need for government to keep out of where it’s not needed: we demand the right to look after our own water supply, as we have been doing fine for decades.

Yours Mark Hubbard

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