Three Waters Reform
Over the past few years, the Government has been considering how three water services (drinking water, wastewater and stormwater) should best be regulated and delivered in New Zealand.
Under the Government’s Three Waters Reform Programme all council-owned and operated drinking water, wastewater and stormwater services will be transferred to four new water services entities on 1 July 2024.
After this date, councils will no longer have direct roles in managing and operating three water services. Privately owned and operated water schemes will not be affected by the current service delivery reforms.
Timeline of Council's recent work
An assessment of Clutha District’s rural water supplies is underway, looking at how the schemes could operate in the future.
Council and the rural water scheme’s working party have been working with the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA). This follows earlier work as part of the Rural Supplies Technical Working Group.
An independent assessment, funded by the DIA, is being undertaken by Morrison Low, looking at the benefits, costs and risks of customer-ownership versus water services entity ownership and operation.
Results of the work will be made publicly available and will help to determine whether an owner operated scheme is a viable option. The assessment will also inform three waters legislation to be fully enacted in mid-2023.
The Rural Supplies Technical Working Group was established and chaired by Clutha District Mayor Bryan Cadogan. Earlier in 2022 the group was tasked with listening to the concerns from the rural sector about the Government’s reform plans and report back to the Department of Internal Affairs with recommendations to address them.
Clutha District Council made the following submission to Government on the Water Services Entities Bill.
Clutha District Council released its position statement as a result of Government’s announcement to mandate the reform process. Council was disappointed with the decision as it denied Council's right to self-determination and the ability to conduct meaningful engagement with our ratepayers.
The Service Delivery Committee presented a report that updated councillors on the Government’s 30 June 2021 and 15 July 2021 Three Waters Reform announcements, which changed the reform process previously outlined in 2020. The report includes specific data and modelling, the implications of the revised Three Waters Reform proposal and next steps.