Three Waters Reform

Some frequently asked questions

Some helpful information

Update: 07 June 2022

Water Services Entity Bill Enters Parliament

On 7 June 2022 the Government introduced the Water Services Entities Bill into Parliament.  This is the first of two Bills giving effect to the Government’s water services proposals. It establishes the four multi-regional entities, their purpose and objectives, and their representation and governance arrangements. The Bill also covers the accountability arrangements for the entities and other levers communities have to influence the direction of the entities.   Some formative transition provisions are also included. The Bill can be downloaded here

The second Bill is expected in September/October and will cover economic regulation, rural supplies, links to planning, the more detailed powers and the flow-on effects for other obligations (such as LTP’24).  

To accompany the introduction of the Bill into Parliament, The Department of Public Affairs has also published a Three Waters Regulatory Impact Assessment and a disclosure Statement for the Bill.  The disclosure statement aims to bring together in one place information to support Parliamentary and public scrutiny of the Bill.

It identifies:

  • the general policy intent of the Bill and other background policy material
  • some of the key quality assurance products and processes used to develop and test the content of the Bill
  • the presence of certain significant powers or features in the Bill that might be of particular Parliamentary or public interest and warrant an explanation

Update: 31 May 2022

Rural Supplies Technical Working Group Final Report Published

The Rural Supplies Technical Working Group was established by the Department of Internal Affairs following an eight week engagement period with councils in 2021, where many councils asked questions about how rural supplies would interact with the new Water Service Entities. The Group was established to provide advice to the Department and Taumata Arowai on policy development related to rural drinking water supplies.  Their full report is available here, FAQ's about the working party provided by the Department for Internal Affairs here, and summary presentation slides here.

Update: 02 May 2022

Kaikōura District Council Mayor Craig Mackle is disappointed with the Government’s latest 3 Waters changes, announced last week.

Last week the Government announced changes to the governance arrangements for the proposed four entity model based on a recent working group report. C4LD have described these changes as “tinkering around the edges”. Mayor Mackle agrees that the proposals are “mere tinkering and the Government has continued to force this reform through without the support of its stakeholders or their communities.”  “We’re disappointed in this initial version of the legislation, but we’re committed to working to get a better model in place that works for everyone.”

Read full media release here

Update: 19 April 2022

Communities for Local Democracy (C4LD) meetings in Wellington

On Monday 4th April Mayor Craig Mackle and CEO Will Doughty attended meetings in Wellington as part of the C4LD group that is opposed to the three waters reforms as they currently stand. Meetings were held with Minister Mahuta and separately with the co-leaders of the Green Party. Over 20 Mayors were at the meeting from around the Country. The C4LD group consists of over 30 Councils across the country representing over 1.4 million New Zealanders. As a group we outlined some of our concerns to the reforms and most importantly outlined a 10 point plan that we could see a compromise solution for the Government with the reforms going forward. Unfortunately, the Group did not feel that the Minister was open to considering alternate ways and solutions that the group proposed. Copies of the letter back from the Minister and follow up information from the C4LD group ( including the presentation to the Minister) are below. A similar presentation was provided to the Green Party Co-leaders with good engagement and awareness raising for them around a number of our concerns.


Castalia Report to C4LD-Alternative Options for Water Reform Jan 2022

Presentation to Minister of Local Government 4 April 2022

Letter to Helen Worboys 8 April 2022

Letter to Minister of Local Govt 10 April 2022

C4LD Position on Iwi Māori Partnership April 2022

Previous updates and more information

04/04/2022   Letter from Government on 'Better off' funding package, Kaikōura District Council will consider the implications before making any decisions

09/03/2022   Media Release Communities 4 Local Democracy,  Predictably disappointing feedback from hamstrung working group

07/03/2022   Letter from Department of Internal Affairs, Responding to Kaikōura District Council feedback and questions

10/02/2022   Media Release Communities 4 Local Democracy, Group Offers Better Alternative for Three Waters Delivery

14/01/2022   Media Release Communities 4 Local Democracy, New Zealanders will pay more and receive less under Three Waters 

22/12/2021   Memorandum of Understanding C4LD, MOU Between Partner Councils in relation to their Three Waters Campaign

16/12/2021   Media Release Kaikōura District Council, C4LD - the voice of more than a million New Zealanders

03/12/2021   Web Update Kaikōura District Council, Government announced Three Waters Reform would be mandatory for all councils

27/10/2021   Summary of Local Council Feedback on Three Waters Reform proposals

27/10/2021   Web Update Kaikōura District Council, Kaikōura District Council's response to Government media release

You can sign up to the Kaikōura District Council Newsletter to keep up to date on the Three Waters Reforms by following this link

For more information on the Communities 4 Local Democracy Campaign (C4LD) He hapori mō te Manapori and its models for better water services, visit or their Media Contact: Stephen Doran - 027 202 7784

You can also find more information on the Department of Internal Affairs and the Local Government NZ websites