News and Updates
There is a significant amount of information on the Department of Internal Affairs website: Three Waters Reform Programme - dia.govt.nz, and information is added regularly.
We are committed to keeping our communities informed and we will share with you what we know when this has been released by Central Government.
In the meantime, please check our Three Waters Reform pages as we will be regularly adding more information to it throughout the next few months.
Latest Information and Updates
5 JULY 2023
Council made a written submission to the Water Services Entities Amendment Bill. Read full submission here.
13 APRIL 2023
The Prime Minister made an announcement on the Three Waters reform - in particular, the announcement that there will now be 10 entities instead of the four originally proposed. This would include an entity specifically for the Manawatu-Whanganui region.
It's important to us that the voice of Rangitīkei is heard on the future of our water. We understand and support the need for change to how water is managed and delivered in New Zealand, however, we, like nearly all Councils, have many concerns about the reform which we have strongly voiced to the Government. That said, shifting away from only four entities is a step in a better direction.
We're looking into what these changes will mean for Rangitīkei and we'll keep updating our community as we learn more.
6 MARCH 2023
Mayor Andy Watson spoke to Rangitīkei District Council's submission at the NZ Parliament - Finance and Expenditure Committee on the 2 March 2023.
Mayor Andy's submission begins from 20 mins into this video.
28 FEBRUARY 2023
How our Council has worked to improve the proposed Reforms
Rangitīkei District Council understand and support the need for change to how water is managed and delivered in New Zealand, however we, like nearly all Councils, have many concerns about the Reform which we have strongly voiced to the Government.
For more information about what Council have actioned, and the outcomes of those actions, please see here.
22 FEBRUARY 2023
Earlier this month, Mayor Andy Watson joined the Mayor’s Consensus on Three Waters Reform, a group of Mayors from around the country, including Mayor Helen Warboys (Manawatū District Council), and Mayor Dan Gordon (Waimakariri District Council). Mayors Warboys and Gordon wrote to the Prime Minister and the new Minister of Local Government requesting to meet to discuss how the group can work together to pivot the Three Waters Reform so that it meets Central Government objectives, while preserving community ownership and voice.
You can read the full letter here.
8 DECEMBER 2022
The Water Services Entity Bill was passed by the New Zealand Government. It lays the groundwork for creating four water entities by July 2024.
11 NOVEMBER 2022
The Select Committee received 88,383 written submissions on the Bill and issued the following report, including amendments to the Bill
You can access the Finance and Expenditure Committee report and amended Bill here.
You can read the Minister’s media release outlining the changes made to the Bill here.
30 NOVEMBER 2022
“Over the last couple of days the Mayors of Auckland and Christchurch have put a position paper to the Government supporting the need for a pause in the Three Waters Reform and the need for an alternate regional model. While we’ve made our position clear on the Three Waters Reform, I wanted to take this opportunity to share my thoughts on the position paper.
Firstly, these concepts put forward in the position paper are not new. There have been a number of Councils, including our own, saying that the Government needs to pause and to look at how we regionally connect. We, as a Council, fully support this.
The telling factor here will be the scale, Christchurch and Auckland are two of our biggest cities and their voices carry a lot of weight back to the Government. However, one of the concerns we hold about the proposed Three Waters reform is the lack of detail and consultation; and at this stage the regional model proposed by the position paper is a two-pager which will require time to develop.
Finally, in considering how a regional model would work within the Horizons region, we feel we are very well connected with local authority shared services and relationships between Councils in the Three Waters space. However, our region is huge and what may be suitable for some communities may not work as well for others - we would still need to work through how this would be addressed.
We will be asking Councillors to consider how we respond to this position paper, and will update the community as soon as we can.
For more information about the position paper put forward by the Mayors of Auckland and Christchurch, please see here: Media Release
02 SEPTEMBER 2022
Mayor Andy Watson spoke to Rangitīkei District Council's submission at the NZ Parliament - Finance and Expenditure Committee on the 19 August 2022.
Mayor Andy's submission begins from 1hr 20 mins into this video.
20 JULY 2022
Council has responded to the to the Finance and Expenditure Select Committee considering the Water Services Entities Bill. For a copy of the submission, see below.
19 JULY 2022
Rangitīkei District Council is set to receive $353K in the next 12 months as part of Government's Three Waters transition funding package announced on Tuesday, 19 July.
The funding is in addition of the Better Off Funding package previously announced.
To receive the funding Council must sign a funding agreement. The funding agreement specifies that expenditure must be related to three waters transition activity. This includes responding to requests from the National Transition Unit and the supply of information and resource to support councils’ preparation for transition.
13 JULY 2022
Rangitīkei District Council have resolved to respond to the Finance and Expenditure Select Committee considering the Water Services Entities Bill*, including seeking an opportunity to speak to the submission.
Council plans to reiterate its position from the submission made to Minister Mahuta on 1 October 2021, in which resident’s concerns were captured and raised. These concerns include the lack of proper community consultation or engagement, the requirement for ensuring a continued local voice, addressing investment prioritisation, concerns over an expected reduction in local governance, and clarity on pricing harmonisation. While some concerns such as asset ownership have subsequently been addressed by Government following Council’s submission, Council remain committed to ensuring the Rangitīkei voice is heard.
Rangitikei District Council Mayor, Andy Watson, said “Council were unanimous in their approach to ensuring the voice of our community is heard by central government. The impact of this reform is considerable, and needs to be done well in order to protect the assets our community has built over several decades, and to maintain safe and effective water services”.
Council’s submission to the Bill will be completed by July 22, and will be shown on Council’s website.
*This Bill is a stand-alone Bill that establishes 4 publicly-owned water services entities that will provide water services in place of local authorities. The Bill contains the ownership, governance, and accountability arrangements relating to those entities, and provides for transitional arrangements during an establishment period. Further Bills will consider pricing and charging arrangements including economic regulation and consumer protection regimes.
29 APRIL 2022
Councils to be shareholders as government accepts recommendations
Today it was confirmed that local councils will take non-financial shareholdings in four new public water entities.
Cabinet has agreed to the bulk of 47 working group recommendations for the planned overhaul of the country's three waters – drinking, waste, and storm water systems – which it hopes to complete by July 2024. The proposed co-governance of regional groups which will appoint the new entities’ governance boards and provide public accountability for the entities is set to remain.
12 MARCH 2022
Letter to All Residents and Ratepayers
From Mayor Andy Watson - Read full letter.
Good Morning, Today the 9th of March 2022 the Three Waters Working Group of Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) released their recommendations back to Government concerning the set-up of the proposed legislation for the future delivery of Three Waters (drinking water, wastewater and stormwater). I deliberately included today’s date because what is proposed now may well be out of date by next week.As a recap, in October 2021 Government introduced legislation to establish four new entities or businesses to deliver the Three Waters services. This would mean that Councils would no longer be involved with these core responsibilities and users would be charged and supplied by the new entities. In the case of the Rangitīkei we would be part of Entity B including Taranaki, Bay of Plenty and the western side of the North Island through to, but excluding Auckland. Read more >
10 MARCH 2022
This letter acknowledges Council's feedback on the Three Waters Reform proposals and provides updates where feedback has resulted in changes to the Government’s proposals.
28 OCTOBER 2021
Here is a link to a media release in which the Government announces that the reforms will be compulsory.
This is a copy of the letter sent to Minister Nanaia Mahuta on 1 October 2021 outlining Rangitīkei District Council’s position on the Three Waters proposed reform.
Three Water Reform funding In the first Three Water Reform funding round, Rangitikei received $4.8M to support existing Three Water Projects.
The money has been allocated to the following projects:
Marton to Bulls Wastewater Centralisation Project Potable water rising main from Bulls Water Treatment Plant to new Bulls Reservoir Renewal of a wastewater pump station rising main in Taihape. Central Government has also agreed to provide Council with $13,317,834 to support local well-being outcomes associated with climate change and resilience, housing and local placemaking.
Council has not made any decisions about how this funding might be used. Further to that, Central Government is proposing to pay costs associated with Three Waters Reform. At this stage, we do not know how much that will be.
Letter to All Residents and Ratepayers
From Mayor Andy Watson - Read full letter
Dear residents and ratepayers,
Central Government is proposing to reform the delivery of Three Waters across New Zealand. 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. Central Government has given councils until the end of September to provide feedback on the proposed reform. Before we provide feedback, we would like to hear from our community about what you think. The proposal is to move Three Water services from the 67 councils of New Zealand into four large publicly owned entities. Read more >
Mayor Andy Watson and Chief Executive Peter Beggs held a Facebook live session on Friday, 17 September.
Watch as Mayor Andy and Mr Beggs answer questions from the community.
Copies of 3 Waters Reform slides presented by the Department of Internal Affairs, on 5 August 2021, to Councils proposed by Central Government to be in Entity B (which includes Rangitīkei District Council)