Working Groups 

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The Government is establishing three independent working groups to refine elements of the Three Waters Reform programme.

Working group papers and agenda will be published on this page.

Working Group on Representation, Governance and Accountability of new Water Services Entities

Cabinet Paper - Strengthening representation, governance and accountability of the new water services entities – 19 April 2022 (PDF, 4.3MB)

The Minister for Local Government Hon Nanaia Mahuta has announced the Cabinet response to recommendations made by the Working Group on Representation, Governance and Accountability of new Water Services Entities. 

The Government accepted many of the Working Group’s recommendations, for the specifics of the Government’s decisions click here:

Government response to Working Group recommendations [PDF, 457KB]

Key council figures [PDF, 595KB]

Council shareholding in Water Service Entities [PDF, 163KB]

Entities map:

Three waters entities map

Entities map [PNG, 216KB]

Three waters governance diagram:

Three waters governance diagram [PNG, 1MB]

Following the Government’s decision to accept most of the working Groups recommendations, the Water Services Entities Bill is expected to be introduced to the House in mid-2022. People can make submissions on the Bill when it is referred to Select Committee shortly after.

This independent working group is comprised of representatives from local government and iwi/Maori, and considered how representation, governance and accountability arrangements for water services entities can be strengthened.

Members of the Working Group:



Independent Chairperson

Doug Martin

Iwi/Māori representatives

Ngarimu Blair (Entity A)

Huhana Lyndon (Entity A)

Jamie Tuuta (Entity B)

Karen Vercoe (Entity B)

Ngahiwi Tomoana (Entity C)

Olivia Hall (Entity C)

Gabrielle Huria (Entity D)

Barry Bragg (Entity D)

Tokoroirangi Morgan (Additional representative)

Elected members of local authorities (2 from each entity)

Mayor Phil Goff, Auckland (Entity A)

Mayor Dr Jason Smith, Kaipara (Entity A)

Mayor Garry Webber, Western Bay of Plenty (Entity B)

Mayor Neil Holdom, New Plymouth (Entity B)

Mayor Campbell Barry, Lower Hutt (Entity C)

Mayor Rachel Reese, Nelson (Entity C)

Mayor Lianne Dalziel, Christchurch (Entity D)

Mayor Tim Cadogan, Central Otago (Entity D)

Mayor Lyn Patterson, Masterton (Rural/Provincial sector representative)

Chair of the joint Central-Local Government Three Waters Steering Committee

Brian Hanna

Individual members may have individual local authority or iwi interests, but represent the interests of those facing similar issues and circumstances and consider national as well as local interests.

Relevant documents

Planning Technical Working Group

As water infrastructure is a key component of the planning system water services entities will need to interact with the resource management system to deliver on the outcomes set by councils through their planning documents.

The Planning Technical Working Group has provided advice to DIA to support policy development related to the intersection between the role and functions of the new water services entities and the resource management system.

The working group met monthly.

Rural Supplies Technical Working Group

The Water Services Act requires all drinking water suppliers, other than domestic self-suppliers, to provide safe drinking water and meet drinking water standards. This is to ensure all communities receive safe drinking water, no matter where they live or who supplies this service.

The Rural Supplies Technical Working Group developed principles and agreed how parties will work together to manage the impacts on rural drinking water suppliers and rural communities, and developed recommendations to inform advice to Ministers on proposed legislation.

In June 2022 Cabinet took decisions on policy matters including that, consistent with a recommendation from the Rural Supplies Technical Working Group, users of council-owned mixed use rural water can choose to directly own and operate their schemes, independent of a Water Services Entity.