The Government has put forward legislation for New Zealand’s three water services – drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater, to be managed by publicly owned water entities, replacing the services currently managed by 67 councils.
On 13 April 2023, the Government announced changes to the Three Waters Reform Programme, which will now be known as the Affordable Water Reforms. You can read the Minister’s statement on the changes to the reforms on the Water Services Reform website.
Water reform has continued at pace with Council submitting on the Water Services Entities Amendment Bill; the government intends to pass all legislation by 31 August 2023, before the general election. The 10 publicly owned water service entities will be established via a ‘staggered approach’, with all entities fully operational by 1 July 2026. Entity A is expected to be formed by 1 July 2024, with Entity G (which includes the Wellington region) earmarked to be established next. However, the Minister will confirm the order of establishment by December 2023.
Water Services Reform Programme website
The Water Services Reform Programme website is the central hub for information on the reform and transition. It also aims to facilitate engagement by Councils and other stakeholders with water services reform transition activity.
Water Services Entities Act 2022
The Water Services Entities Act 2022 establishes the new entities for water services
Read the Water Services Entities Act 2022
See our submission on the Water Services Entities Bill (467KB PDF)
Water Services Legislation Bill
This omnibus bill is the second bill in a suite of legislation to reform water services delivery in New Zealand. The single broad policy for this bill is to establish and empower water services entities by setting out their functions, powers, obligations, and oversight arrangements.
Read the Water Services Legislation Bill
Water Services Economic Efficiency and Consumer Protection Bill
The purpose of this bill is to provide for the regulation of the price and quality of water infrastructure services, and consumer protection for water infrastructure services.
Read the Water Services Economic Efficiency and Consumer Protection Bil
See our combined submission on both Water Services Legislation Bill and Water Services Economic Efficiency and Consumer Protection Bill (6.96MB PDF)
Water Service Entities Amendment Bill
The purpose of this Bill is to give effect to Cabinet decisions on water reforms made in April and May 2023. It is an omnibus Bill that amends more than one Act – Water Services Entities Act 2022 and enabling amendments in other Acts.
The Amendment Bill functions as the implementation of the broad policy to provide for, and adjust, the establishment, governance, functions and accountability arrangements for 10 publicly owned water services.
Read the Water Services Entities Amendment Bill
See our submission on the Water Services Entities Amendment Bill (316KB PDF)