Three Waters Request for Information

Return to Three Waters Reform Programme
See also: Three Waters Review
Taumata Arowai

Background
Purpose of the RfI
Information requested
Support to complete the RfI
Webinar and clinic schedule
Documents and links

Background

In August 2020 the Crown signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) (PDF, 204KB) with all eligible Local Authorities to support the improvement in three waters service delivery for communities with the aim of realising significant public health, environmental, economic, and other benefits over the medium to long term.

As part of the Three Waters Reform Programme MoU, the Crown has provided stimulus funding to support economic recovery post COVID-19 and address persistent systemic issues in the three waters sector.

The Request for Information (RfI) process was signalled through the MoU that all eligible Territorial Authorities signed with the Crown.

The MoU included a commitment to “openly sharing information and analysis undertaken to date on the state of the system for delivering three waters services and the quality of the asset base”.

Local government sector representatives have also expressed a clear desire for more detailed modelling and analysis to understand the potential impacts and advantages of the reform at a local level.

Purpose of the RfI

The RfI is to collect the information necessary to undertake detailed analysis to support advice on the options for reform to the Steering Committee, local government elected members and Ministers over the coming months.

The information gathered through this RfI will be an important part of the Reform Programme. It will assist local authorities in making informed decisions on reform options later in 2021 and ensure we have quality information to enable New Zealand to make appropriate decisions as the reforms progress.

The Department of Internal Affairs has commissioned work from specialist economic, financial and commercial advisors to support detailed analysis and modelling using the information gathered through this RfI.

This analysis will allow us to better understand the current state of the three waters related asset base and condition of the assets, the operating environment, commercial and financial arrangements and the forecast investment plans. It will also help us to identify the potential impacts of reform on the local government sector relative to the status quo.

Information requested

There are two components to the RfI, each council is required to complete one of these:

  • A general request to all Local Authorities to supply information that will be used to inform advice and commercial and financial analysis
  • A detailed request to a sample of Local Authorities to supply further information (in addition to that above) to enable more detailed economic analysis to inform the options for reform without placing significant demands on the resources of all authorities.

The request has been structured to enable a more detailed economic analysis to be undertaken on a representative sample of councils. This approach will ensure that we are able to undertake robust analysis to inform the options for reform without placing significant demands on the resources of all Local Authorities.

The Local Authorities identified for the representative sample were selected to ensure an appropriate spread of council types, geographies and underlying drivers of need.

Any Local Authority not selected within the representative sample is encouraged to consider opting in if they think they may be are able to provide the more detailed information for analysis. This will provide higher quality information to support participation in the reform process and help develop a better understanding of the current state and challenges facing Local Authorities.

If your council has not been assigned to the more detailed sample but wishes to participate in this, please email threewaters@dia.govt.nz with ‘RfI’ in the subject line. This will ensure the Department can provide additional hands on support as offered for this sample. 

See the Guidance Document – October 2020 for detail on the information requested and representative sample (this will be available under the key documents section below shortly).

The response deadline for all local authorities to submit the completed RfI is Monday 1 February 2021. However, we encourage councils to submit completed sections of the RfI as they are finalised ahead of this deadline.

Support to complete the RfI

The Department of Internal Affairs is conscious of the significance of this request and has taken steps to leverage alternative data sources, to reduce the amount of information being collected, and to make support available to Local Authorities.

On this page you will find a set of guidance documents to support local authorities in completing the standardised response templates. The Department will also deliver support webinars and instructional videos throughout the RfI process. When available these will be linked below.

In addition, officials will run weekly technical guidance and support check-ins for local authorities. Following feedback, we have identified some themes for the drop-in zoom clinics so that appropriate council staff may attend. We will also continue to include an allotment of time for FAQs from outside the area of focus. 

A summary of the clinics that have already been held is linked below. 

Send any questions about the templates, process or anything else to do with the RfI to ThreeWaters@dia.govt.nz with “RFI” included in the subject line.

Webinar and clinic schedule

The schedule below outlines the webinars and clinics scheduled to occur over the coming weeks. If you have not received an invite to any of these, please email ThreeWaters@dia.govt.nz and we will share the invite with you.

Webinar clinic date and time

Topics to be covered

Clinic summaries

9 – 10am Wed 28 October 2020

Technical overview of the response templates

 

8 – 11am Tues 3 November 2020

Discuss templates, raise questions or specific issues

Clinic summary - 3 Nov 2020 - WORD (.DOCX, 38KB)

Clinic summary - 3 Nov 2020 - PDF (.PDF, 154KB)

8 – 11am Tues 10 November 2020

General Q&A, J Tabs Asset Replacement

Clinic summary - 10 Nov 2020 - WORD (.DOCX, 50KB)

Clinic summary - 10 Nov 2020 - PDF (.PDF, 176KB)

8 – 9.30am Tues 17 November 2020

Short session, general Q&A, coincides with Water NZ conference opening

Clinic summary - 17 Nov 2020 - WORD (.DOCX, 41KB)

Clinic summary - 17 Nov 2020 - PDF (.PDF, 135KB)

8 – 11am Tues 24 November 2020

Templates AA and F/Commercial and Financial

Clinic summary - 24 Nov 2020 - WORD (.DOCX, 31KB)

Clinic summary - 24 Nov 2020 - PDF (.PDF, 206KB)

8 – 11am Tues 1 December 2020

Templates E and G/Opex and Capex

 

8 – 11am Tues 8 December 2020

Templates B and C/Session on standards and levels of service

 

Documents and links

Key documents

Supporting videos:

Supporting Schedules:

More documents will be provided here when available.

Note: Completed Request for Information Response Templates should be sent to the following email address: threewaters@dia.govt.nz with “RFI” included in the subject line.

Webinar recordings and video links

Three Waters Presentation - 21 October 2020 (SOLGM website)

Following feedback, we have identified some themes for the drop-in zoom clinics so that appropriate council staff may attend. We will also continue to include an allotment of time for FAQs from outside the area of focus.

A summary of the clinics that have already been held is linked below.