Three Waters Request for Information

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

Latest update (updated 30 June 2021)

Purpose of the RfI
Information requested
Support to complete the RfI
Webinar and clinic schedule (updated December 2020)
Documents and links (updated January 2021)

Latest update

See the Individual council models and slide packs page for simplified versions of the financial models WICS used in its analysis of the potential economic benefits of three waters reform.


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 collected 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 is an important part of the Reform Programme. It assists local authorities in making informed decisions on reform options later in 2021 and ensures we have quality information to enable New Zealand to make appropriate decisions as the reforms progress.

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

This analysis allows 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 also helps us to identify the potential impacts of reform on the local government sector relative to the status quo.

Information requested

There were two components to the RfI, each council was 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 structure enabled a detailed economic analysis to be undertaken on a representative sample of councils. This approach ensured a 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.

The response deadline for all local authorities to submit the completed RfI is Monday 1 February 2021.

Support to complete the RfI

The Department of Internal Affairs is conscious of the significance of this request and took 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 ran weekly technical guidance and support drop-in clinics. A summary of the clinics that have already been held is linked below.

Webinar and clinic schedule

The schedule below outlines the webinars and clinics undertaken throughout the RfI process.

Webinar clinic date and timeTopics 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

Clinic summary - 1 Dec 2020 - WORD (DOCX, 310KB

Clinic summary - 1 Dec 2020 - PDF (PDF, 497KB)

9 – 10.30am Friday 4 December 2020

Workbook II session

Clinic summary - 4 Dec 2020 - WORD (DOCX, 21KB)

Clinic summary - 4 Dec 2020 - PDF (PDF, 145KB)

8 – 11am Tues 8 December 2020

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

Clinic summary - 8 Dec 2020 - WORD (DOCX, 54KB)

Clinic summary - 8 Dec 2020 - PDF (PDF, 190KB)

8 – 9.30am Tues 15 December 2020 Q & A session only

Clinic summary - 15 Dec 2020 - WORD (DOCX, 35KB)

Clinic summary - 15 Dec 2020 - PDF (PDF, 124KB)

8 – 9.30am Tues 12 January 2021 Q & A session only 

Clinic summary - 12 Jan 2021 - WORD (DOCX, 42KB)

Clinic summary - 12 Jan 2021 - PDF (PDF, 1MB)

Common F table questions (XLSX, 340KB)

8 – 9.30am Tues 19 January 2021 Q & A session only 

Clinic summary - 19 Jan 2021 - WORD (DOCX, 48KB)

Clinic summary - 19 Jan 2021 - PDF (PDF, 248KB)

Documents and links

Key documents

Supporting videos:

Supporting Schedules: