National has once again pushed back against the government’s spending agenda during a fiery question time today.
Deputy leader Nicola Willis continued to lash out over revelations from last week that the government had dipped into the Covid recovery fund to help pay for three waters. “Can [Grant Robertson] advise the house how spending $21 million of taxpayers money on three waters policy advice… helps the New Zealand economy recover from Covid-19?” asked Willis.
“The Covid response and recovery fund was designed to make sure that New Zealand could respond to Covid and recover from Covid,” replied Robertson. “Part of that is making sure that we stimulate economic recovery in the regions… that includes the three waters programme.”
Improving water infrastructure would ensure job creation, particularly in the regions, added Robertson.
It was reported this morning in the Herald that over $2 million was being spent on a three waters policy office in Auckland. Willis questioned how the “swanky” office would help New Zealand to recover from Covid-19.
“I know that the National Party think that if a difficult problem comes along, the answer is to kick the can down the road [and] not deal with the massive rates increases that New Zealanders will have if we don’t solve three waters,” retorted Robertson.