Three Waters reform: it’s now time to make a submission22/06/2022 4:26pm
• Take part in Council’s submission to central government
• Come to a Three Waters public meeting
Matters relating to governance, ownership, and accountability are all part of the Water Services Entities Bill, which represents the next stage in the Government’s Three Waters reform programme.
Nelson City Council is working on a submission to this Bill that will include feedback from stakeholders and our community that will be gathered through an online survey and public meetings.
The survey includes questions on six key aspects of the Bill, including; governance, accountability, consumer interests, ownership, protection against privatisation, and transitional arrangements.
The Government is expected to release another Three Waters Bill later in the year, which will cover aspects of the reform not covered in this legislation.
Go to nelson.govt.nz and click on the Three Waters reform tile to access the online survey. Paper copies of the survey will be available at Council’s Customer Service Centre at Civic House and Stoke and Nightingale Libraries. Respondents will also be able to provide general feedback on Three Waters Reform.
Survey responses will be accepted until 4 July so they can be assessed for inclusion in Council’s submission. Council's submission to central government will be considered at a Council Meeting in July.
Nelsonians can also make independent submissions directly to Parliament through the Select Committee process by visiting this website: parliament.nz/en/pb/sc/make-a-submission/document/53SCFE_SCF_BILL_124081/water-services-entities-bill. The closing date for submissions to Parliament is 22 July 2022.
On 27 October 2021, the Government decided to mandate Three Waters reform across New Zealand, meaning councils will transfer responsibility for water services to one of four publicly-owned water service entities by July 2024. The new entities will be collectively owned by councils on behalf of communities, meaning the assets will remain in public ownership.
Deputy Mayor Judene Edgar says Council staff and elected members want to have a conversation with the community about Council’s response to the Three Waters Bill.
“Council has engaged fully with the Three Waters reform process so far as we think that is the best way for us to advocate for the Nelson. We have already seen feedback from councils incorporated into the reform, and now we have an opportunity to shape the way these entities will be governed, held accountable to the public, and owned.
“These are fundamental aspects of the reform, and they need to work for our community. The question is not whether the reform is needed, but what shape it should take.”
Acting Chief Executive Alec Louverdis encourages Nelsonians to take part in the engagement.
“There are many in the community that feel passionately about Three Waters, and I would encourage them to engage fully with the process. We want our submission to combine the views of elected members alongside the views of our community, and we need a wide range of voices to do that effectively.”
As well as the survey, a series of public meetings have been arranged where Nelsonians will be able to talk to councillors and officers about the proposed reforms and Council’s submission. The details of the meetings are:
- Wednesday 29 June 2022 – 2pm – 5pm: in person in the Council Chamber
- Thursday 30 June 2022 – 2pm – 5pm: in person in the Council Chamber
- Thursday 30 June 2022 – 6.30pm – 8pm: on Zoom
If you wish to speak at the meeting, you can book a speaking spot directly online by going to nelson.govt.nz and clicking on the Three Waters reform tile. Alternatively, you can call the Customer Service Centre on 03 546 0200, and they can help you through the booking process. Speaking times will be limited to five minutes per individual and 10 minutes per organisation to ensure everyone has a chance to put across their views.