Three Waters Steering Committee Update, 25 September 2020

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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 was formed following agreement, at the Prime Minister’s Central/Local Government Forum in mid-May, between senior Government Ministers and LGNZ’s National Council to work in partnership towards three waters service delivery reform.

It 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 provides oversight and guidance and works to ensure that a broad range of interests and perspectives are considered through the reform process.

These updates are posted to the Three Waters Reform webpage where you will also find key documents relating to the Steering Committee’s work and to the overall three waters reform programme:  

Guidance on participation in the reform programme

Please find attached guidance from the Three Waters Reform Programme and Steering Committee related to your council’s participation in the reform programme:

Steering Committee Guidance - 25 September 2020 (PDF, 1 MB)

This guidance:

  • summarises areas of immediate focus for councils – this has been provided in response to questions about where councils can best put your energy in these early phases of the reform;
  • consolidates advice that has been provided by Crown Infrastructure Partners related to the preparation of Delivery Plans - so that all remaining councils have access to information already provided to other councils; and
  • responds to a few further frequently asked questions, such as, the upcoming Request for Information process and how to approach long term contracts in the face of the reform programme.  

We will look to provide regular guidance on issues raised with the Steering Committee and Three Waters team as we progress this work together.

LTP process

  • The Committee is acutely aware of questions relating to preparation of 2021 LTPs and potential complexities in relation to the reform programme.
  • SOLGM is issuing guidance on how to approach the 2021 LTP process in relation to Three Waters as part of broader guidance on 2021 LTPs. This will be available on their website.
  • We continue to work to better understand how we can support community consultation and council decision making in relation to the next phases of the Reform Programme.

Hawkes Bay Three Waters Review Report

In our last update we noted the Central Hawke’s Bay District Council, Hastings District Council, Napier City Council, Wairoa District Council and Hawke’s Bay Regional Council have been working together to review the current and potential service delivery options for three waters for all of Hawke’s Bay.

The independent Review is complete and has been formally delivered to councils and made public. For information on the review visit:

Iwi/Māori engagement

The Department of Internal Affairs and Taumata Arowai are currently undertaking a series of hui with iwi, hapū and Māori groups across the motu to discuss the waters reforms.

This engagement is targeted as part of the Crown’s Treaty partnership. However, we recognise councils also have key relationships with mana whenua and we encourage you to continue to have open dialogue with your iwi and hapū partners about the reform programme.

The hui are designed to gain a more comprehensive understanding of iwi/Māori Treaty interests and perspectives on the Three Waters Reform Programme as well as the regulatory work of Taumata Arowai.

This understanding is essential to, and will inform, the Steering Committee’s ongoing work.

The introductory webinar with an address by the Minister of Local Government, Hon Nanaia Mahuta, was recorded and is available on the reform programme webpage: Taumata Arowai and Three Waters Reform Programme iwi/Māori pre-workshop introductory webinar recording (link to YouTube video).

Funding Agreements and Delivery Plans

We are aware that councils have been working hard on the successful completion of Funding Agreements and Delivery Plans which are due at the end of this month.  Thank you to all those involved in this work so far.

As discussed above, the attached documents includes information from CIP that other councils have requested which may be of value to you in polishing the final touches on your plans ahead of submitting these.

These are due with (copied to by 30 September 2020.

Delivery Plan Cash Flow Profile (XLSX, 45KB)

Job multipliers and worked example (XLSX, 13KB)

Three Waters Direct Credit Authorisation Form (DOCX, 72KB)


Steering Committee meetings

The Steering Committee’s next meeting will be held on 5 October.

At this meeting the Committee will be looking to finalise the Request for Information process and how to best support councils in completing this.


Nāku noa, nā

Three Waters Steering Committee