SPEECH: Water Charges: Labour And National

Speech by the Rt Hon Winston Peters Farmer Environment Rally Morrinsville 18 September 2017

Excerpts from speech.

Farming in New Zealand has always been based around handing your farm to the next generation, better than you found it.

Today, we gather here because of the attacks from those in Labour and the Greens, and from some in the commentariat.

It is the third time we have been in Morrinsville since last December.  That’s the importance that New Zealand First puts on sustainable farming.

Sadly there are some who will tax you out of business, not realising they will send the country bankrupt at the same time,

We know Labour want over $500m from water because that’s what they told Radio New Zealand before they spun “1 of 2 cents a cubic metre.”

Mathematicians will clock that 1 to 2 cents is a 100% variation.

So Labour really wants 10 cents a cubic metre.  They also want a Land Tax, a Capital Gains Tax and as they opposed Gift Duty’s abolition, that could back as well.

They want farming fully into the ETS at another $30,000 per farm.

There’s zero room for regret on Sunday.  Buy yourself insurance and help us get farmers like our Waikato candidate, Stu Husband into Parliament.

But there’s another reason why you must Party Vote New Zealand First.

It is to stop the National Party going down a racially divisive abyss.

One that will cost far more money than Labour’s charges and for the people here, we have the written proof.

 In April, we wrote to every National MP asking them to stop race-based planning.  What did National MP’s do? They put Mana Whakahono ā Rohe Agreements and race-based consenting into the RMA.  That’s the modern urban National Party.

 We bet National hasn’t told you that, in March, Tuwharetoa started demanding rent to use Lake Taupo.  What did National do?  Minister Finlayson offered taxpayers’ money to ‘mediate this as some commercial dispute’.  That’s National saying Maori now own the waters of Lake Taupo. How long before you get the invoices?

 Has the Prime Minister told you about his cosy and regular meetings with Iwi, where reallocating your water consents to Iwi is being openly discussed?

 Remember the trauma of Variation 6 in the Waikato Region? There’s a race-based sequel coming from after the election.

 Or Waikato-Tainui saying water consents are “a right in property” that they should own.  Based on Minister Finlayson’s inactions, National will give them ownership too meaning Koha for Water.

 And has any National MP, or Minister, told you that it intends to reveal its water allocation and charging IN DECEMBER?

Do you want a National Government that needs the support of the Maori Party?

A Party that openly says Iwi owns water and wants a water tax of 10 cents a cubic metre raising $583m from non-Maori for Maori?

If it comes down to losing their Ministerial BMWs, or kowtowing to the Maori Party, which way do you think this urban liberal National Party will go?

The only guarantee you have against a Maori Party controlled National Party, and to farm for generations, is to Party Vote New Zealand First.

Left or Right we are your only bet for the common sense centre ground.

ADDITIONAL BACKGROUND INFORMATION

NATIONAL’S SELL OUT OF FARMERS  (OIA’s available from NZ First)

In May, Mr English said:

“You want to be careful about rushing in and starting to charge people that historically no one's owned and no one's paid for."  Mr English said iwi will want a slice of that - "I think they would almost certainly come in with a claim. It would be pretty hard to resolve it".

Remember those words as we take you through National’s sell-out and its aspirations to harvest the economic value of water to New Zealand, estimated by the Ministry of the Environment, at just under $35 billion each year.

Selling out Lake Taupo to Tuwharetoa

 If “no one owns the water” what National says ad nauseam, why then, is Tuwharetoa being allowed to:

o Demand payments rising to $25,000 for just a single cruise operator o Issue invoices and Deeds of License for water users of the Lake;  And when these are disputed, saw, in August, the Hon Chris Finlayson refusing to tell Tuwharetoa that “they’re dreaming” but instead:

o On 17 August, Minister Finalyson writes offering taxpayer monies to “resolve this dispute”.

o This included offering to pay legal costs “regarding the interpretation of the 2007 Deed of Settlement” with Tuwharetoa.

o The upshot is National accepts Tuwharetoa can charge for the water that feeds the Waikato.

 National is tacitly admitting Tuwharetoa owns the water column of Lake Taupo.

Selling out the Waikato River

 If “no one owns the water,” why then is the Prime Minister not protecting farmers’ interests or that of power consumers or anyone who drinks town water in his discussions with Iwi?

o  “The Crown has acknowledged that if it creates of disposes of any property right or interest in the Waikato River or creates a statutory or other process to create or dispose of any property right then the relevant River Iwi must be engaged directly in the first instance”.

 We know this from regular meetings the PM has with Iwi leaders, like in May with that involved Minister’s Smith, Bridges and Flavell as well as Waikato Regional Council.  Why is National allowing Waikato-Tainui to believe that water consents equal rights in property:  “Waikato-Tainui believes that rights being distributed to consent users are in effect creating rights in property in the waters of the Waikato River.  Waikato-Tainui believes that there are opportunities within the Waikato catchment, to take further steps in recognising our rights to freshwater”.

 Why is Waikato-Tainui not being dissuaded by government over coveting Council owned sewerage treatment and water treatment plants?  The creation of which it believes is the privatisation of water and thus, a trigger to water ownership:

 “…Waikato-Tainui noted they consider changes to Watercare may be tantamount to triggering the disposition clause in the Waikato-Tainui Raupatu (Waikato River) deed of settlement”.

 It is because Iwi are not being told by National that there is no such thing as Maori Water.  That’s why Iwi told Mr English only in May:  

o “…that the Crown immediately provide direction to local authorities that ownership of the Waikato and Waipaa Rivers was not resolved as part of the Waikato and Waipaa River settlement and therefore any water management regimes (allocation, take and use) including Water Council Controlled Organisations, must involve the active participation of River Iwi of that area at all levels to maintain and uphold the integrity of the settlement”.

 If that is not enough, and after the controversial Waikato Variation 6 that set water allocation for your Region, Te Awawa River Iwi now wants that all of that revisited in their favour:

o “Te Awawa River Iwi noted there has been over allocation of water to some individuals and companies who secured rights to more water than required because of the poor model. 

Grandparenting may be appropriate in some catchments but not in those with large numbers of Maori Land Holdings. Te Awawa River Iwi asked the Minister for the Environment to consider a specialised team dedicated to working on equitable water and nutrient allocation...”

 Did Mr Smith stand up for existing consent holders?  Not likely:

o “The Minister for the Environment noted the work currently underway on water allocation and acknowledged there is broad agreement that the first in first served approach is not always the best, however, there is not yet agreement on an alternative…”

Iwi Chairs Forum Regional Iwi Hui – July 2016

 Now just look at the loaded gun that Iwi have created and National has enabled. This from the leaders of Big Iwi:

o “If agreements with the Crown are not reached then whanau, hapu and Iwi can return to the Waitangi Tribunal or seek other remedies for a determination of their legal rights and interests in freshwater.”

 And just look at what National has done to oblige them:

o “Iwi Rights and Interests are being addressed mainly through the Resource Legislation Amendment Bill, Freshwater Discussion Document( and resulting legislation and improvements to the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management) and Allocation (of taking and discharging to freshwater).”

 And right here is the National Government’s timeline to sell you all out:

o December 2017: Cabinet policy finalised for consultation

o December 2018: Public consultation carried out; final policies agreed

 We bet National is not telling its supporters, that in a few short months after the election, if it is returned, that major water allocation will be unveiled.

The upshot

 We are outing National’s cynical agenda because New Zealanders are being taken for a ride and it’s all there in the recent Tuwharetoa Deed of Settlement that National will put into law if it is allowed to:

o “One of the wider aspirations of Ngati Tuwharetoa is for the Crown to recognise and provide for those rights and interests. This includes provision being made for the interests of Ngati Tuwharetoa in any future policy reform in relation to water and geothermal resources, including the introduction of economic interests such as a market-based regime for resource allocation”.

 Last January, at the Orewa Rotary Club, we warned that National was caving into the Māori Party's "brownmail".

o Dr Smith accused us of scare mongering but then put "Mana Whakahono a Rohe: Iwi Participation Arrangements" into the RMA to placate the separatist Maori Party. 

 These Mana Whakahono a Rohe arrangements mean an unelected "bro-rocracy" get a say on not only district and regional plans, but consents and compliance too.  But that and non-elected Iwi appointees were only the entrée.  The Tuwharetoa settlement legislation establishes a new statutory body, called Te Kopua Kanapanapa. 

This is a brand new tier of local government, which will be legislated for as a committee straddling Waikato Regional Council and Taupo District Council will be able to define its own limits and that’s only a start.

It was National that allowed the Whanganui River to become ‘a person’ as they sell farmers down the river, every bit as Labour is doing by its many taxes.

Had enough?