From July 2024, New Zealand’s drinking water, wastewater and stormwater services (three waters) will be managed by four publicly-owned water service entities that will replace the current services are provided by 67 councils across New Zealand.

A new system for three waters service delivery - PDF

These new entities will:

  • Be publicly-owned by councils as the sole shareholders on behalf of communities, with strong protections against any future privatisation 
  • Have joint strategic direction and oversightthrough Regional Representative Groups (and sub-committees) made up of local government and mana whenua to ensure the entities are driven by community expectations and priorities 
  • Be financially separate from councilswith a greater ability to borrow to fund long-term infrastructure 
  • Have independentcompetency-based boardsthat will run the day-to-day management of the entities and oversee the maintenance and renewal of this infrastructure.

Latest developments

10 June 2022 | The new Water Services Entities Bill passes first reading.

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Water Services Entities Bill  

A copy of the Water Services Entities Bill can be found here.

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Industry Transformation  

DIA has said there will be further public participation to test and refine the reform plan.  This will be open through the select committee process as the relevant legislation progresses through the parliamentary process.

Within the water sector there will be further announcements of multiple workstreams.

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    Iwi/Māori Partnerships

    The Three Waters reforms will enable iwi/Māori to have greater strategic influence to exercise rangatiratanga over water services delivery, including through enhanced capacity and capability.

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    For more detailed information head to www.dia.govt.nz