Three Waters Steering Committee Update - 1 April 2021

Return to: Three Waters Reform Programme

Tēnā koutou katoa,

This email from the joint Central/Local Government Three Waters Steering Committee has been sent to Mayors, Chairs, and Chief Executives only (more information on the Steering Committee is provided at the bottom of this email*).

Please distribute this information within your council

We are approaching a key part of the reform process, where important decisions are to be made. It is vital for council staff and elected members to be fully informed with all the information to help them in this process.

However, we understand as a council you may want to supplement our communications with your own information and therefore ask that you cascade this information internally.

Reform programme workshops

On Tuesday 30 March 2021, we held our final full-day workshop as part of our March engagement series.

The Steering Committee would like to thank the many of you that attended a workshop. We know that a day of your time is a large investment, and we hope you have found the workshops as informative and valuable as we have.

Approximately 960 participants attended these eight workshops. In addition, the two pre-workshop webinars have been viewed/attended by over 400 times.

The presentation materials and pre-workshop webinar recordings are available on the reform programme webpage here: Engagement Materials

These discussions are extremely important in testing our reform proposals and refining our thinking ahead of providing advice to decision makers over the coming months.

Your feedback and reflections at these workshops has been continuously fed back as the workshops have progressed to the Steering Committee and the team at the Department of Internal Affairs, to inform the evolving advice.

The Department will produce a report summarising the key themes that have emerged through the workshops and a set of Frequently Asked Questions reflecting the many in-person and online (Slido) questions we received throughout the workshops.

These will be posted on the reform programme webpage and shared with you through this email as soon as they are available.

We will continue to engage on elements of the reform programme as we progress this work.

The Department of Internal Affairs, Taituarā and LGNZ will also continue to undertake ongoing targeted engagements and discussions with the sector and iwi/hapū.

Progressing policy work is well underway

As discussed at the workshops, key decisions on features of the reform programme will be taken by Cabinet in mid-2021 and communicated to the sector shortly after this.

This includes, decisions on the numbers and boundaries of the proposed entities, governance arrangements and mechanisms to ensure Treaty rights and interests are met, and your communities and consumers keep a strong voice in the proposed new entities.

Your feedback on these elements of our thinking has been, and will continue to be, informative to this policy development process.

This advice is moving at pace and will start to firm up more as we get the stage two WICS analysis based on the RFI information, and independent analysis of this advice completed.

The commercial and financial team are also using the RFI information to undertake assessments of the impact on council and entities balance sheets following any transition.

Much of this data and analysis that is being completed is crucial to meeting the need for further information and data that has been strongly expressed by you across the March workshops.

Another large piece of policy work underway is to progress the legislation required to enable you to take a decision of proceeding with the reforms or not to your communities.

This legislation will give you more certainty about the proposed process and timeframes for taking this decision.

Useful resources

  • Information relating to the Steering Committee’s work and the Three Waters Reform Programme can be found here
  • Information relating to the RfI process can be found here
  • Information covering the earlier work of the Three Waters Review can be found here
  • Information relating to the establishment of Taumata Arowai can be found here

Ngā mihi,

Three Waters Steering Committee
Email: 3WatersSteeringGroup@dia.govt.nz