Establishment Chief Executives

The Water Services Entities Amendment Act 2023 allows for the creation of 10 Water Services Entities (WSEs) while also disestablishing the original four entities. Under this Act, the roles of the establishment chief executives from these original entities remain within the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA). However, it’s important to note that their roles have evolved, with the exception of Entity A/Wai Tāmaki ki Te Hiku, where the Act explicitly permits the current chief executive, Jon Lamonte, to retain his position.

In respect of impacted roles, Vaughan Payne (previously Entity B) has accepted the Department’s offer to move to a new role working in the National Transition Unit as Regional Establishment Director and will lead the NTU’s regional establishment team to stand-up entities B, C and D until the respective boards appoint an establishment chief executive for their entity.

With the later proposed stand-up of South Island entities, Michael Brewster (previously entity D) has decided to return to Tasmania and will conclude his work on 15 November 2023.  Colin Crampton (previously entity C) has elected to not take up the redeployment opportunity and will leave the programme on 15 December 2023

People and Workforce
With the proposed go-live date of 1 October 2024 for the Wellington-Wairarapa (Entity G) and Tairāwhiti-Gisborne, Hawkes Bay (Entity F) WSEs, the organisational design team has commenced engagement with subject matter experts from these regions. There have been a number of organisational design workshops in Carterton with the  Wairarapa affected parties.

Customer and Digital
The first Digital Drop-In session was held in September. This was a virtual forum and webinar attended by nearly 50 Council representatives from IT teams and transition managers.  These drop-in sessions are designed to keep teams up-to-date with the latest progress on Customer and Digital transition activities as well as providing a good opportunity to ask questions about the NTU’s digital programme.

Iwi Māori work stream

Even though there are no CDC officers on the Iwi Māori work stream team, we have informed Nicky Douglas as lead of this workstream of the importance of relationships and requested that they include both Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa and Rangitāne o Wairarapa in their work.

Next steps

While the exact makeup of the forthcoming Government remains uncertain and is expected to be determined in the coming weeks, it is worth noting that the possible three principal parties to likely form the next Government share a substantial degree of consensus in their opposition to the affordable water reforms.

Taking this into account, management will continue to work with the NTU and LTT on the Water Services Reform transition in a business-as-usual capacity until the new government issues further directives. We will keep the Council informed of any updates or changes.