Poll: More voters against Three Waters than support

Source: 1News

Only 26 per cent of voters support the Government’s Three Waters reform, according to the latest 1News Kantar Public Poll.

The poll indicates 40 per cent of voters are opposed to the reforms, while 35 per cent were either unsure or didn’t know they were happening.

Tensions between central and local government over the Three Waters reform programme continues to bubble after the proposed changes to water services were first introduced in 2020.

The proposed changes would create four new entities that would take charge of water services that are currently controlled by local government.

Some local authorities are in favour of the changes while many others are opposed.

Local government minister Nanaia Mahuta said there was “resistance” within some local authorities.

“There's a resistance within parts of the local government community who do not want change and I don't accept that.”

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff said the proposed model was not ready for prime time.

“The minister is well-motivated in what she is trying to do, but I don't think the model is right at the present time."

He said there needed to be more local control in how water services were managed.

“I think [what] Auckland would want is, obviously being the majority provider of the new entity's assets, to continue to have a majority say.

“We're certainly not being selfish, we are happy to work in and to cooperate with others to improve water supply for everybody,” Goff said.

Meanwhile, Porirua Mayor Anita Baker argued that the reforms were necessary.

“We have 59,000 people that live in Porirua and only 19,000 ratepayers, so the figures just don't match up and quite simply we can't afford to do the fixes that we actually have.”

Last week, Mahuta rejected questions that the Government hadn't sold the reforms well enough.

“There are pockets of New Zealand and certainly in certain councils that don't want any type of change,” she said.

View the full results from the January poll here.

Many may notice the new name of the 1News poll. It’s the same pollsters, the same techniques but a different name – the 1News Kantar Public poll.

Between January 22 to 26, 2022, 1000 eligible voters were polled by mobile phone (500) and online (500). The maximum sampling error is approximately ±3.1%-points at the 95% confidence level. For party support and preferred Prime Minister, percentages have been rounded up or down to whole numbers. The data has been weighted to align with Stats NZ population counts for age, gender, region, education level and ethnic identification. The sample for mobile phones is selected by random dialling using probability sampling, and the online sample is collected using an online panel.