Three Waters Reform

In July 2020, the Government launched the Three Waters Reform programme – a three-year programme to reform local government three waters service delivery arrangements. The Three Waters Reform could potentially significantly change the way water infrastructure and services are delivered in our District.

Currently 67 different councils own and operate the majority of the drinking water, wastewater and stormwater services across New Zealand. Options for new service delivery arrangements are still being considered, however, the Government’s preference is for four larger water entities. Click here to view a map of the proposed boundaries and more information about the proposed entities. 

At this stage central government has indicated to councils that they will be given a choice as to whether or not they opt in or out of the Three Waters Reform. Such a choice could potentially have consequences that extend beyond just the delivery of Three Waters services, and as such this is undoubtedly the biggest decision that has faced NZ Councils and their communities in a generation.

Whilst Kaikōura District Council is not yet at a stage where we have to make this difficult decision, at the Council meeting on the 29th September Council considered a comprehensive status report on the Three Waters Reform proposals. This report included the comments and feedback from over 200 responses to our community engagement.

The Council has now provided some initial feedback on the proposed reform to the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) as was requested by the 30th September. The Government is expected to consider feedback from local councils and take decisions on the next steps in the reform pathway over the coming month.

Read the full status report on the Three Waters Reform proposals including community feedback here.

Download the Council feedback to DIA on the Three Waters Reform proposals here.

You can also read more information on the reform programme on the DIA and LGNZ websites. 


What does this mean for Kaikōura

Central government will be determining the timeline for reform going forward in October 2021. The Canterbury Mayoral Forum has formally requested a pause to the current timeline. We believe this is essential in order to properly understand the implications and gather all the details so we can properly engage with our communities on this incredibly important decision. Read the full media release here.

Kaikōura District Council will not agree to transfer any water, wastewater or storm water assets to any other entity without first undertaking a full consultative or referendum process with the Kaikōura community.

We will continue to keep you informed as these important reforms develop through our website, Facebook page and monthly newsletter, sign up here for our monthly newsletter.