Eric Short: ‘Water powers are legalised thievery’

Wednesday July 22, 2020 Published in Letters to the Editor

Dear editor,

Got my copy of To Tatou Vai Bill 2020. Went to Parliament to listen to the Honourable Mark Brown present his bill.

He said he consulted with all the land owners about adding chemicals to our water supply and that all land owners agreed.

Well, we didn't, and we are still consulting with Government.

Once the Bill is passed, all infrastructure, resources and land will be under the control of the company To Tatou Vai.

We have yet to agree with the Government. These are our resources and land. This Bill will remove our rights as land owners.

Land owners agreed no compensation would be charged as long as Government did not charge the Iti Tangata for water.

We will now see To Tatou Vai charge every home connected to the system.

To Tatou Vai will have to charge every household a fee each month to maintain the system and pay running costs – about $4 million a year. Based on say 5000 water connections, that will be approximately $80 a month per household, just to break even.

You cannot opt out of being connected. The Bill says customer participation is compulsory.

It will be piped up to your property and a meter connected. Even if you don’t use it, you will pay a connection fee. The Honourable Minister said: "If you don’t want Government Water then put your own tanks in and treat your own water.”

The Bill says, To Tatou Vai can prohibit and control the installation and use of any well, artesian water supply, desalination plant, underground water table, rain water, water tanks, river or stream.

That means all water on our Island belongs to To Tatou Vai; you will need their permission to install any of the above.

This Bill allows To Tatou Vai the right to set or alter any boundaries of any catchment and to amend or replace schedule 2, which is land titles.

That is legalised thievery.

We read on social media comments, “hurry up and give us clean water, these land owners are holding up the project”.

But everyone will be paying, and it’s different when it’s your land that government is taking.

If you are concerned, attend the meetings in your area, have your voice heard.

Eric Short
Takau Rangatira
Ngati Pa.Takitumu

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