Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta has confirmed the Government will go ahead with proposed Three Waters reforms to create four publicly owned water entities, replacing the current system of council delivery.

The next stage of the process involves a working group of local government, iwi and water industry experts that will work through the enhancements to entity design and look at the governance, representation, and accountability arrangements of the entities.

Other technical working groups will look at the interface with resource management reforms and rural water supplies.

Nelson Mayor Rachel Reese says while there is some disappointment that the Government has made the water reform package mandatory for councils, there is still an opportunity to shape the reforms in a way that works for local communities.

"Between the proposed working groups and the chance to provide submissions to the Select Committee considering the legislation, we'll be taking every opportunity to have Nelson's voice heard."

Mayor Reese says there are lots of voices in the community that have to be listened to as part of the consultation process and Council needs to engage with all of these.

“Once the contents of the legislation are known, we will establish the best way to achieve that within what will be a very tight timeframe.

"Our focus, now the decision has been made, must be on ensuring our key infrastructure projects are delivered and that we have an appropriate level of input within the water entity."