Taxpayer Talk

Stephen Franks provides an update on the Three Waters legal challenge

November 07, 2023 New Zealand Taxpayers' Union Inc.
Taxpayer Talk
Stephen Franks provides an update on the Three Waters legal challenge
Show Notes

This week on Taxpayer Talk, Taxpayers' Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, sits down with lawyer Stephen Franks to provide an update on the Three Waters legal challenge. Stephen is a founding director of the commercial and public law firm Franks Ogilvie, a former member of Parliament and spokesperson for the Water Users' Group.

Franks Ogilvie has been leading the legal challenge against Three Waters that, among other things, aimed to force the Minister of Local Government, Nanaia Mahuta, to release her legal advice that co-governance of Three Waters infrastructure was required under the Treaty of Waitangi. Unfortunately, this challenge was unsuccessful and was appealed to the Court of Appeal where the challenge was again dismissed. We have decided to drop the case in order to focus our resources and efforts on developing a repeal and replacement bill for Three Waters.

The Local Water Infrastructure Bill that we have been developing addresses the infrastructure issues that were used as the justification for Three Waters but without the co-governance, seizure of local assets and other numerous problems in the Three Waters legislation. You can read about our Local Water Infrastructure Bill here. 

The Court of Appeal judgment can be read here.

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