Government to consider three waters recommendations following Working Group report

Local Government

Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta today welcomed the independent Working Group report on the Three Waters Reform Programme.

 “The independent Working Group has been an important part of the Government’s Three Waters Reform Programme to ensure all communities have access to affordable, safe and sustainable drinking, waste and storm water services,” Nanaia Mahuta said.

“Last year the group was established to examine the proposed representation, governance and accountability arrangements. Comprised of local government and iwi representatives, the group were also asked to further consider council and mana whenua feedback and make recommendations for additional improvements.  

“I want to acknowledge Doug Martin as the independent chair, and the local government and iwi members of the Working Group for their thorough work over the past eight weeks and for bringing their community knowledge and perspectives to this report. 

“Cabinet will carefully consider the recommendations in today’s report from the Working Group on before finalising reform plans and introducing legislation. We know it is important to get this reform right for every New Zealander.

“We are committed to ensuring local councils continue to have a vital three waters role by representing the interests of their communities at the highest level of each new water services entity alongside mana whenua, and by owning these entities on behalf of their communities.

 “The process going forward is designed to make sure the wealth of three waters expertise and local knowledge built up by local government transfers over to the new entities and that these new water services providers are accountable and responsive to local communities.

“I look forward to providing an update on next steps once I have had the opportunity to consider the recommendations in this report with my Cabinet colleagues,” Nanaia Mahuta said.