Council feedback to Government on Three Waters Reform

Published on 04 October 2021

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Council has submitted its feedback on the Three Waters Reform Programme to the Department of Internal Affairs.

Council has significant concerns about the extent of changes currently underway and that the overall impact on communities is not being properly understood. We believe the Future for Local Government thinking should be completed ahead of the Three Waters Reform and we question the accuracy of the modelling being used to build the ‘case for change’. Big questions remain on the balance between the economic case and need for a local voice and accountability. Council entered the Three Waters Reform process in good faith and hopes the Government will continue in the same vein to explore what is best for communities in all four wellbeing’s not just for the economics and ideology of the case. 

A summary of our feedback

  • Agree there is a need to explore other ways to better deliver three waters services. 
  • Does not agree that the current proposal for three waters delivery addresses the ‘case for change’.
  • Believes that options other than the establishment of four Water Service Entities should be explored.
  • Believes that all viable options should be presented.
  • Concerns over the pace and sequencing of the multiple reforms underway.
  • Concerns over the governance structure which is too complex and does not enable local representation or input.
  • Need for greater public and iwi awareness on the need for change and decision-making process.
  • Need better clarity on how investment will be prioritised across the various Councils and communities that will be part of the Water Service Entities.
  • Details required on what the transition would look like. This is a critical aspect so as not to cause major disruption to service delivery by local government.
  • Need support and resources from Government to enable a comprehensive consultation process.

Feedback on Three Waters Reform(PDF, 297KB)