The Government recently announced a proposal to change the way three waters services (drinking water, wastewater and stormwater) are provided in New Zealand. Currently, 67 councils own and run most of New Zealand’s drinking water, wastewater and stormwater services. The Government believes the nation’s three waters services could be provided more efficiently if they were delivered by fewer entities. It is proposing to establish four publicly-owned entities governed by independent boards to deliver three waters services in New Zealand. These services would be provided in the Far North by an entity covering the Northland and Auckland areas (Zone A). The Council is considering what is best for the Far North. We want to know what residents think before deciding whether to opt in or out of the reform programme.
We have provided more information about the Government’s three waters proposal in the water section of our website. This information explains why the Government wants to reform three waters services. There is information about the new water services entities the Government is proposing and the issues we need to consider in deciding how best to deliver three waters services. We have also provided key reports to help people weigh up the pros and cons of the proposal and a link to the Department of Internal Affairs website where there is more information. We encourage you to read this information and review these reports before taking part in our short survey which closes on 22 October 2021.
The Mayor and Councillors were due to decide in November whether to opt in or out of the Government’s Three Waters Reform Programme. Before making that decision, they asked for feedback from the community and engaged independent research company, Key Research, to undertake a poll of Far North residents randomly selected from the General and Māori Electoral Rolls. Due to the high level of public interest, the survey was also opened to anyone who wanted to have a say on the issue. The survey ran for four weeks and closed on 22 October 2021. Key Research delivered results of the anonymous survey early in November and the Council considered these at its 4 November meeting. However, the ability to opt in or out of the reforms was no longer available. On 27 October, the Government announced it would introduce legislation to amalgamate all council-owned three waters services into four regional entities. Read the latest information about the Three Waters Reform Programme on the Department of Internal Affairs website here.
You can view results of the Key Research survey below. One report provides results of those invited to participate from the General and Māori Electoral Rolls, the other provides results from the public or ‘self-selected’ respondents.