On 27 October 2021 Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta confirmed the next steps in the Government's Three Waters Reform programme. The Minister said Government will create four publicly owned water entities to manage delivery of water, wastewater and stormwater services in New Zealand. Hamilton City Council would be part of a central North Island entity involving 22 councils in the greater Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Taranaki, and parts of Manawatu-Whanganui. A new agency (Taumata Arowai) takes over drinking water compliance from the Ministry of Health.
The Minister also announced a working group of local government, iwi and water industry experts will be established. The group will work through enhancements to entity design and look at the governance and accountability arrangements of the entities, as well as provide an opportunity for public participation and consultation.
Legislation will be introduced to progress the establishment of the entities. The Select Committee process will provide an opportunity to get public feedback on the reforms.
The Department of Internal Affairs is establishing a unit to focus on the implementation of the reforms. This unit will work with the local government sector, iwi, water industry and other stakeholders to transition to the new arrangements.
More detail on the Government's announcements and FAQ is available here
Hamilton City Council provided detailed feedback to Government on the proposals following its meeting of 30 September 2021. Links to Council's feedback document and reports are available at the right of this page. Information relating to Council's current position is subject to change as decision-making develops.