Three Waters Steering Committee Update - 2 September

Return to: Three Waters Reform Programme

Tēnā koutou katoa,

This email is from the joint Central Local Government Three Waters Steering Committee. It has been sent to Mayors, Chairs, and Chief Executives only, and should be shared with your colleagues as appropriate.

The Committee comprises Mayors, Chief Executives, Regional Council and Te Maruata representation as well as the Society of Local Government Managers, Local Government New Zealand, the Department of Internal Affairs, and the Treasury.

The Committee is working in partnership to provide oversight and guidance to support progress towards reform of three waters services.

Progress on MoU process

The Steering Committee is pleased to report that 67 MoUs* were received and countersigned before the deadline of Monday 31 August, and would like to thank councils for their prompt response within the required timeframes. (*This includes Greater Wellington Regional Council as owner of bulk water assets; Auckland Council has also resolved to participate in the first stage of the reform programme).

This means that all eligible councils have met the first step in to the process for receiving the stimulus funding.

Communication of councils’ collective agreement on regional funding allocations and Funding Agreements and Delivery Plans, are required by 30 September 2020 to complete eligibility for the funding.

Collective agreement on regional allocations

Agreement at a regional level is required on the preferred allocation of the regional portion of the Government’s stimulus and reform funding.

The Steering Committee has suggested an allocation approach that can be used to distribute this regional portion, following regional discussions of collaborative three waters initiatives.

This would follow the formula used to reach the individual council allocations and effectively double each participating council’s direct allocation. Alternative approaches involving regional projects or joint studies (e.g. asset condition) are also encouraged.

On regional agreement of the preferred allocation, a joint letter from the Mayors of participating local authorities to the Minister of Local Government and the Three Waters Steering Committee should be used to communicate the regional funding allocation decision. This letter can be emailed to and

You will find attached the Te Tau Ihu letter as an example of a suitable format for communicating this decision.

The letter must be received before 30 September 2020.


Submitting your Funding Agreement and Delivery Plan

Local authorities will need to add its share of the regional funding allocation to the territorial authority allocation, and incorporate this combined amount into the Funding Agreement and Delivery Plan to be submitted to and by 30 September 2020.

Further guidance can be found on the Three Waters Reform Programme Webpage

Webinar on Delivery Plan Development

Water New Zealand is holding a webinar for Water Utility Association and Water Services Manager Group members tomorrow (Thursday 3 September) at 10am which will provide a “Guide to what a good Delivery Plan looks like”. Presenters are Anthony Wilson (on behalf of Crown Infrastructure Partners), Allan Prangnell and Bill Bayfield.

If your Water Services Managers have not done so already, they can email to register for this webinar.

The session is being recorded so those who are unable to attend but wish to access it are asked to contact Katrina at WaterNZ, as above.

Guidance on water entity discussions

We are aware that a number of local authorities have begun to collaborate to identify regional investment priorities and to establish collective participation in the reform programme.

The funding guidance above provides an indication of the kinds of spending and activities that align with the reform objectives and stimulus spending.

Further guidance will be available over the coming months that will set out expectations about the type of information that the reform programme will require from local authorities.  This will also include the approach to joint work at a regional and multi-regional level.


Nāku noa, nā

Three Waters Steering Committee