Water Services Reform
About the Water Services Reform
Previously known as the Three Waters Reform.
The Government has mandated changes to the way drinking water, waste water and storm water are delivered in our communities. With major challenges ahead for the water services, the changes aim to ensure all New Zealanders have access to safe, reliable and affordable water services, while taking better care of our environment.
During August and September 2021, Councils reviewed and assessed information on the Government’s proposal. The model would see the responsibility for Hauraki district’s water services transferred to a regional entity comprising of 22 councils from the Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Taranaki and top of the central North Island. The entity would remain in public ownership.
At the end of September 2021 we provided feedback to the Government outlining our concerns with the model and indicated that we would not support the proposal in its current form.
After considering the feedback from all local authorities, Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta confirmed on 27 October 2021 that the Government will push ahead with its preferred Water Services reform plan - mandating changes to water services nationally. This decision is counter to the Government’s earlier promise to give Councils the choice of opting in or out of the reform in December.
New legislation was introduced in December 2022, and more was drafted, to enable this change. Please check the timeline and additional information section on this page for more on this.
In early April 2023 the Government decided on changes to the water services reform programme. These changes included increasing the number of new water services entities from four to ten in order to strengthen local representation and voice. Additional legislation is drafted to accommodate this change with transition dates changing from November 2021 to 1 July 2024, to a more staggered approach between 1 July 2024 – 30 June 2026..
Government has provided a funding package to support councils transition through the Water Services Reform.
More links will be added as new information is made available.
Reform support package
A quick overview of Three Waters Reform (June 2022) - DIA
View the full list of legislation
Learn more about the new water services regulator Taumata Arowai
Water Services reform programme website
Learn more about the Three Waters reform - DIA website
Find out about the Water Services Act
You can read more information about the Water Services Reform proposals in the Council workshop agenda, which the Councillors considered at a workshop held on 15 September 2021.
The Council’s feedback to Te Tari Taiwhenua Internal Affairs and Local Government New Zealand can be read here - HDC feedback on impacts and issues of Three Waters Reform.