October 27, 2021
Three Waters plan becomes tsunami
Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta is pushing ahead with her plan for the country’s water infrastructure to be run by four regional entities.
She says the alternative is a frail network and contaminated water in many communities.
Aging infrastructure is literally crumbling in some cities, and councils face the additional strains of growing population, climate change resilience and extreme weather events, as well as competing for a limited number of skilled workers to do the job.
Ms Mahuta set a start date for the new entities on July 1, 2024.
There will be legislation so councils can not opt out.
Cabinet has asked the Department of Internal Affairs to establish a unit to implement the reforms.
She says a working group of local government, iwi and water industry experts will design the entities, which will own and manage all drinking, waste and storm water infrastructure to communities in their regions.
The reform is expected to create 6000 to 9000 new jobs and boost they economy by $14 billion to $23 billion over the next 30 years.