Three Waters Reform Survey
Three Waters Reform - South Taranaki District Council Survey
Currently, South Taranaki District Council, along with 66 other councils, own and operate the majority of the drinking water, wastewater and stormwater services (three waters) across New Zealand.
Central government’s Three Waters Reform programme has the potential to significantly change the way critical water infrastructure and services are delivered in our district.
Through these reforms, central government is proposing to create four publicly-owned entities to deliver three waters services (removing councils’ responsibility to maintain critical water infrastructure and services).
The introduction of higher standards and regulations across three waters will come at a significant cost to ratepayers and will challenge councils in terms of sustainability and affordability. The idea with the reform is to keep costs affordable and consistent for households by spreading these out across a wider area.
There is still a lot of information our council is yet to learn about these proposals and how they will specifically impact our District. We are continuing to work with the government on clarifying how we will be affected, including how local voices will be retained in decision-making if these reforms go ahead, and ownership of assets.
At the moment, the proposal from central government is for South Taranaki District to become part of Entity B which joins 21 other council areas together, which might mean the cost of water services is less than a local or regional delivery model.
The government has given us until the end of September to work through the information we have received to date and provide our feedback to them. After this, the government has said they will consider next steps, including the process and timing for decision-making and consultation.
While the government has indicated formal consultation with the community will come later, we think it’s important to get your thoughts on the proposal at this stage, as that will help us assess local impacts and concerns.
We have already said we believe that central government must consult with local communities on these major changes.
In the meantime, we will do all we can to ensure your voices are heard. Your answers in this survey will form part of our feedback. Please take your time to answer the questions.