The Department of Internal Affairs

Te Tari Taiwhenua | Department of Internal Affairs

Building a safe, prosperous and respected nation


New executive directors to join the Three Waters reform programme

23 February 2022

Two new executive directors are joining the largest water reform programme in New Zealand’s history, Te Tari Taiwhenua Department of Internal Affairs announced today.

Hamiora Bowkett and Heather Shotter will take up executive director roles in the Three Waters programme, managed by the Department.

Michael Lovett, Deputy Chief Executive for the Local Government Branch, warmly welcomes Heather and Hamiora.

“All New Zealanders need safe, reliable drinking water, wastewater and stormwater - the three waters services. We depend on these for the health and wellbeing of our communities and our environment. Local government is facing significant challenges in managing these services,” says Mr Lovett.

“To address this, the Government is progressing reforms so that water services will be provided by four publicly-owned entities from July 2024. Heather and Hamiora have the experience, knowledge and mana to help the Department deliver the Government’s water reform programme.”

Hamiora Bowkett (Ngāti Rangiwewehi, Te Arawa, Te Rarawa) will lead the reform programme, as set out in the Water Services Bill. He is a senior leader with 21 years’ experience across the public and private sectors.

He joins the team from Te Puni Kōkiri, where he is Deputy Secretary Strategy, Finance and Performance. Hamiora has also worked at partner and executive director level at PWC and EY.

“Hamiora has the right mix of skills and senior experience across the public sector to lead this ambitious reform programme that will benefit all New Zealanders,” says Mr Lovett.

Heather Shotter will head the national transition unit, responsible for establishing the four new water services entities that will deliver the three waters to people across New Zealand. She joins the team from Palmerston North City Council where she is Chief Executive and was previously Executive Director of the Committee for Auckland, which promotes positive social and economic development.

Heather has extensive senior leadership experience across the public, for-profit and not-for-profit sectors, and brings proven expertise in managing complex transitions and delivering well-balanced outcomes. She is a member of the Joint Central/Local Government Three Waters Steering Group and the Local Government Infrastructure Reference Group.

“Heather’s experience and insights into water infrastructure and local government are invaluable for the transition unit. I’m delighted to have her onboard and look forward to working with her,” says Mr Lovett.

Delivering the Government’s three water reforms is one of the ways the Department is helping ensure iwi, hapū and communities across New Zealand are safe, resilient and thriving.