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Three Waters Reform

Central Government is reforming the delivery of Three Waters.

Three Waters includes drinking water, waste water and storm water. Here in Rangitīkei, these services are delivered by Manawatū District Council under a shared services agreement with Rangitīkei District Council. The services provided are funded through rates.

Rangitīkei will be included in 'Entity B' alongside 22 other councils including our neighbours Whanganui and Ruapehu, as well as others in Waikato, Tauranga, Bay of Plenty and Taranaki.

The councils will be represented by six elected members who will sit alongside six iwi representatives in a Regional Representative Group. The Group will appoint an independent selection panel that in turn appoints board members to govern the entity.

While councils will be the 'owners' of the entities, on behalf of their communities, they will not receive financial recognition of ownership. Steps are being put in place to ensure Three Waters assets remain in public ownership.

Central Government is still currently working through the finer points of what local participation will look like. However, Entity B will be charged with engaging with residents.


2016Havelock North campylobacter outbreak in which thousands of people were infected by drinking water from contaminated bores – four people died, and others were left permanently disabled.
2017Central Government inquiry into the Havelock North drinking-water contamination.
Central Government’s Three Waters Review.
Dec 2019-March 2021
Taumata Arowai is set up as a Crown Entity to regulate drinking water from late 2021.
May 2020
Three Waters Steering Committee set up to oversee the Three Waters Reform Programme.
July 2020
  • Water Services Bill introduced, containing details of a new regulatory system. The Bill is expected to pass into law in late 2021.
  • Government financial package announced to improve water services delivery and to explore water reform in partnership with councils as part of a memorandum of understanding.
Aug 2020
Rangitīkei District Council signs the MoU with Central Government to supply detailed information on our current 3 waters infrastructure and operations to allow Central Government to explore water reform options.
Apr-June 2021
Central Government makes more detailed decisions about the Three Waters Reform proposal including:
Central Government nationwide education campaign underway.
Aug-Sept 2021
  • Eight-week engagement period with Central Government to better understand the implications of reform for councils and communities.
  • Council workshops held and meets to discuss its response.
  • Resident survey SURVEY LINK
Oct-Dec 2021
Central Government announces the reform will proceed and is compulsory.
Preparation for forming the new water services entities.
New entities are expected to start providing three water services.