In July 2020 along with announcing the Three Waters Reform, the Government also announced an initial funding package of $761 million to provide a post COVID-19 stimulus to maintain and improve water three waters infrastructure, support a three-year programme of reform of local government water service delivery arrangements (reform programme), and support the establishment of Taumata Arowai, the new Waters Services Regulator.
The initial stage (Tranche 1 – Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), Funding Agreement, Delivery Plan and Request for Information (RFI) process, was an opt-in, non-binding approach. It did not require councils to commit to future phases of the reform programme.
We completed the RFI process over Christmas and New Year 2020/21 and the Government has used this information, evidence, and modelling to make preliminary decisions on the next stages of reform and has concluded that the case for change has been made. Here is the full report on the case for change.
In June 2021, a suite of information was released by Government that covered estimated potential investment requirements for New Zealand, scope for efficiency gains from transformation of the three waters service and the potential economic (efficiency) impacts of various aggregation scenarios.
In September 2021 Council submitted its feedback on the proposal to the Department of Internal Affairs.
In October, the Government announced it would be progressing the Three Waters Reform.
In November 2021, we launched a residents survey to seek feedback from our community on the Government’s decision to go ahead with the Three Waters Reform, despite concern and opposition raised by councils from across the country.
Initially the Government said there would be a community engagement process, where local communities would be given the opportunity to express their views and provide feedback about the Three Waters Reform.
In the most recent announcement, the Minister for Local Government indicated there will not be a local community consultation process. Instead, communities/public will have an opportunity to provide feedback through the select committee process.
You can watch the announcement and read a summary of local Government feedback on the proposal on the DIA website.
To find out more and to tell us what you think, go to letskorero.upperhuttcity.com/threewaters-survey.
The survey is open until 28 November 2021.