The Government is continuing to advance its Three Waters Reform Programme. At the request of the local government sector, a two-month engagement period through August and September was agreed to, allowing time for local government to understand how the Government’s reform proposals affect their councils and communities, identify issues of local concern, and suggest possible ways of addressing these. No formal council decisions were required in this period. The Government anticipates reform discussions will continue beyond October.

The Government will consider the feedback and take decisions on the next steps in the reform pathway, including the process for public consultation on the proposals. These decisions will be taken and communicated in the coming months.

The background to the Three Waters Reform Programme can be accessed here and a programme overview can be viewed here.

As part of the reform programme, the Stormwater Technical Working Group was established in March 2021 to identity future arrangements for the planning and management of stormwater services and how those services could be successfully delivered by the proposed Three Waters service entities, while protecting and enhancing the relationship between the proposed water service entities and local authorities.

The technical group has recently released its report titled Proposed approach to the transfer of stormwater functions and delivery to new water service entities. The report identifies key issues, risks, opportunities, and options associated with the transfer, and includes proposals for:

  • the future arrangements for the transfer of stormwater assets and management of stormwater systems and infrastructure
  • managing the interface between the roles and functions of the proposed water services entities, local authorities, mana whenua, transport providers, and regional councils to work together to manage stormwater systems and functions
  • an approach and timeframe for the transfer of responsibility for managing stormwater from local authorities to the proposed water service entities.

The report can be accessed here.