New poll: 76% believe water entities should be accountable to voters
Three quarters of New Zealanders believe that those responsible for water services should be directly accountable to voters, reveals a new scientific poll commissioned by the Taxpayers’ Union.
The poll of 1,000 New Zealanders was undertaken by Curia Market Research, and asked, Do you think those who are responsible for provision of local drinking, waste, and storm water services should be directly accountable to voters?
Seventy-six percent said yes, and just eight percent said no. Fifteen percent were unsure.
Support for democratically accountable water services is consistent across every part of the country and with voting bases of every major political party.
Of course, Nanaia Mahuta’s Three Waters regime would run roughshod over local accountability. The boards of the new water monopolies would be insulated from accountability by multiple layers of bureaucracy. The one layer that is nominally democratic – the representation group – is in fact co-governed with iwi appointees, who will have effective veto power over major decisions.
To put it simply, ratepayers unhappy with the value or reliability of their water services won’t be able to vote out the people in charge. This removes the incentive for the water monopolies to keep water bills reasonable and deliver reliable services.