About the Reform Programme Engagement

The Reform Programme journey to date has been a long process which builds on engagement with local government, Iwi/Māori and industry experts during the Three Waters Review (2017-2020), and now the Three Waters Reform Programme (2020-2021).

Since May 2020, the Department has undertaken an extensive series of engagement to work with interested parties to refine the reform proposals to ensure the reforms have the best chance of success. This has included three series of workshops across the country, webinars, technical reference groups and one on one discussions.

This page provides an overview of the engagement undertaken since the reform programme was launched in July 2020 and materials from these past engagements. In addition to an ongoing engagement directly between the Department and iwi/Māori, local government and industry experts, the Department also supports Taituarā, Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) and industry bodies in engaging on the reforms.

Engagement on three waters service delivery reforms is expected to continue on an ongoing basis throughout the reform programme lifetime (anticipated to take until 1 July 2024).

The 8-week period

Over August and September 2021, central and local government have agreed to pause on taking decisions on reform next steps to enable local government time to consider the reform proposals. This is an opportunity for the local government sector to engage with the model and the proposal and provide feedback, at both the national level and as it relates to your community. Local Government New Zealand will lead engagement with the local government sector during this period with support from the Department and Taituarā.

Councils are not expected to make any formal decisions regarding the reform through this period, as such this period does not trigger the need for formal consultation. See - Three Waters Guidance for Councils - August and September 2021 for more information.

While local government are considering the reform proposals, the Department is also continuing our engagement directly with iwi across the country during this. This includes engagement with groupings of iwi and direct one on one engagement, where invited. Invitations to officials to engage can be delivered to: ThreeWaters@dia.govt.nz

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Past engagements

The below gives a brief overview of engagement undertaken between May 2020 and August 2021 on the three waters reform proposals. Materials from these engagements are linked below.

May 2020 - Central/Local Government Forum - Reform Programme Initiated

Cabinet and LGNZ National Council agree partnership approach to progress three waters services delivery reform.

July/August 2020 - Nationwide workshop series one: Introduction to the Reform Programme and Stimulus Package

  • 3 pre-workshop webinars
  • 14 in-person workshops with local government and their mana whenua partners.
  • Approximately 1000 attendees
  • 1 post-workshop webinar

September/October 2020 - Nationwide workshop series two: Hui-ā-motu - Reform Programme overview and introduction to Taumata Arowai

  • 2 pre-workshop webinars
  • 17 in-person workshops with iwi/hapū and their local govt partners
  • Approximately 300 attendees
  • 1 post-workshop webinar

October 2020-February 2021 - Request for Information support for council staff

  • 12 online clinics with open question and answer sessions
  • Drop-in room at WaterNZ Conference
  • Regular online information releases
  • One-on-one support sessions with councils
  • Individualised WICS (Water Industry Commission for Scotland) feedback sessions
  • Dedicated Taituarā Account Manager and WICS supporting contacts

March 2021 - Nationwide workshop series three: Reform programme update and test emerging policy proposals

  • 2 pre-workshop webinars
  • 8 in-person workshops with iwi/hapū and local govt
  • Approximately 960 attendees

July 2020 to present - Regular update emails, webinars, meetings and technical reference groups

  • 10+ update emails to mana whenua contacts o 20+ update emails to Mayors and CEs - These are also available online See: Updates from the Steering Committee
  • 20+ Mayoral Forum, Zone/sector meetings/discussions
  • 20+ formal and multiple informal discussions/ hui with iwi/hapū representatives
  • 18 Central/local government Steering Committee meetings
  • 20+ Technical/Māori Reference Group meetings and 15+ workshops/meetings with industry and Māori groups

Engagement materials

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Contact us

If you have any queries, please email: 3waterssteeringgroup@dia.govt.nz or ThreeWaters@dia.govt.nz