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Three Waters Reform

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What is the Three Waters Reform and what does it mean for Carterton?

There are a number of issues with water infrastructure (water supply, waste water, and stormwater) around the country, and the government is aiming to raise the standard. Our council is in a pretty good shape compared to many other councils. The government is inviting local councils to be part of this review, and co-design what this may look like in the future. The government has indicated they are looking at multi-regional (I.e. Lower North Island) organisations that manage water and council assets and debt.

To be part of that conversation, we needed to sign a Memorandum of  Understanding outlining how local and central government will work together, which also entitled us to $1.84m of funding which we can put towards water supply, waste water, or storm water (but not towards projects which we have already budgeted for).

Key things to take into account:

  • The agreement is non-binding
  • The possibility of privatisation has been ruled out
  • The interests and well-being of local communities will be considered, and they will also be able to provide input in relation to the new entities
  • We will have a good idea of what these reforms will look like by May 2021, and at that stage our council will need to decide whether it wants to continue in the reform or pull out.

At the council’s September Infrastructure and Services Committee meeting, the committee agreed on the project items to be submitted in the delivery plan to the Department of Internal Affairs for approval on how to apply the $1.84m funding the council will be receiving as part of stage one of the Three Waters Reform.