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Three Waters Reform

The Government is considering changes to the regulation and delivery of the country’s ‘three waters’ services: drinking water, wastewater and stormwater. It has proposed four regional water entities to replace the work currently done by Aotearoa New Zealand’s 67 councils. At the moment, the vast majority of three waters assets and services in the country are owned and delivered by local councils and paid for through rates.

The reason for change is two-fold. It is about achieving higher regulatory standards and minimising the costs to households. The Government’s proposal is to create four new entities to look after Three Waters to achieve ‘economy of scale’, spreading the increasing costs over many people. The proposed structure will require more skilled people in the water services workforce with potentially several thousand new jobs created nationally. To help with transition costs and community initiatives around wellbeing, Napier City Council will be allocated close to $26 million from Government through Three Waters Reform.

The Government gave councils until 30 September 2021 to analyse the proposal and feed back to them. You can view our feedback submission and community engagement report here. The proposal suggests boundaries for the four entities. Napier is included in Entity C, along with the rest of Hawke’s Bay, the East Coast through to Wellington, as well as the top of the South Island. This area covers close to 1 million people and 21 councils. Hawke’s Bay’s councils have collectively discussed the impacts of becoming part of Entity C and are investigating options around boundaries.


The results of our community survey, report and the submission to central government can be downloaded below:

Three waters reform submission 

Community Engagement Report 

Prosperous Napier Committee - Submission to Government on Three Waters Reform 

Read the Hawke’s Bay’s Councils joint media statement and letter to the minister below:



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