The Government has announced its decision to push ahead with an "all in" approach to the Three Waters Reform. This will see the establishment of four publicly-owned water service entities.
Kāpiti will be part of water service entity C. Our job now is to ensure that our community’s needs continue to be prioritised and met in the face of climate change and unprecedented growth.
In June 2021, the Government released four reports as part of the evidence base to support proposed reforms. They follow the initial analysis from the Water Industry Commission for Scotland (WICS) which was released last December. The reports are part of the evidence base for reform at a national level and don’t speak to implications for individual councils.
These reports include:
- WICS final report – economic analysis of water services aggregation – June 2021[PDF, 1.5MB]
- WICS supporting material Part 1 – required investment - June 2021 [PDF, 1.5MB]
- WICS supporting material Part 2 – scope for efficiency - June 2021[PDF, 3MB]
- WICS supporting material Part 3 – costs and benefits of reform – June 2021 [PDF, 4MB]
- Farrierswier report – Three Waters Reform Programme – Review of WICS methodology and assumptions underpinning economic analysis of aggregation – June 2021 [PDF, 2MB]
- Beca report – DIA Three Waters Reform – WICS Modelling Phase 2 – June 2021 [PDF, 653KB]
- Deloitte report summary – final economic impact & affected industries – June 2021 [PDF, 1MB]
- Deloitte report – Industry Development Study & Economic Impact Assessment – June 2021 [PDF, 4MB]
You can find out more about the background to these reports on the Department of Internal Affairs website.
Our Council has expressed a view that while it supports the overarching principles and objectives of the Reform, it has real concerns about the planned approach which it sees as one-size-fits-all, overly complex and difficult to implement.
The Council is concerned about governance and ownership aspects of the proposed model — specifically, loss of control and connection — and in particular how each council’s priorities would be acknowledged and delivered, and how the voice of local communities would be retained.
We do not consider financial modelling supporting the reform proposals accurately reflected the Kāpiti situation, and projected future financial benefits of the reforms are very uncertain for Kāpiti.
Kāpiti has a good track record of delivering quality drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater outcomes for our community and we want to ensure that our community’s needs continue to be prioritised and met in the face of climate change and unprecedented growth.
We are committed to achieving positive three waters outcomes for the Kāpiti Coast community, and we will continue to advocate for our district’s interests.
We are asking the Government for a fair deal. Investing in maintaining and upgrading our three waters infrastructure has meant our infrastructure is in good condition, however we have borrowed money to achieve this and we want to ensure that our ratepayers are appropriately reimbursed for this.
Losing three waters assets also impacts our ability to borrow for other community-based infrastructure and improvements.
Three water upgrades and planning continues
We are currently advancing significant projects to deliver improved environmental outcomes and build capacity across our drinking water, wastewater and stormwater networks. $26.9 million was allocated in this year’s annual plan to support drinking water safety upgrades, improve our wastewater treatment infrastructure and address flood risks in our district.
There are several reasons why we’re pushing ahead with this critical work. We have traditionally invested heavily in our water management, security and infrastructure. This is a strategy that has served our community well. With our growing population and in the face of our changing climate, delaying or cancelling work is kicking the can down the road. We are committed to delivering the best outcomes for our community which means we can’t lose two years’ worth of work, especially as we don’t know how much of a priority Kāpiti infrastructure will be for the new entity.
There are also new and evolving standards we must continue to meet as a water supplier to remain compliant with Taumata Arowai, the water services regulator for Aotearoa New Zealand.
Continuing to plan for the future through projects like the Stormwater Management Framework and upgrade of the Waikanae Water Treatment Plant is our way of committing to and protecting the vision and aspirations of iwi and our community before we lose our ability to do so.
We expect government will reimburse us appropriately for all debt relating to investment in water assets, including any incurred between now and transition on 1 July 2024.
- Latest Three Waters report fails to address Kāpiti concerns (09 March 2022)
- “All in” approach to Three Waters reform undermines sector’s voice (27 Oct 2021)
- Opinion: Fair, equitable, local, and affordable – A counter proposal to the proposed Three Waters Reform (5 Oct 2021)
- Opinion: Controlling the flow – other issues to consider with the Three Waters reform (27 Sept 2021)
- Council calls for collaboration on Three Waters Reform proposal (1 Oct 2021)
- Opinion: Leaky analysis – Wayne Maxwell on the proposed Three Waters Reform (20 Sept 2021)
- Opinion: Kāpiti Coast District Council chief executive Wayne Maxwell on the proposed Three Waters Reform (6 Sept 2021)
- Rosy national three water reform picture but devil may be in the detail for individual councils (2 June 2021)
- Kāpiti Coast to participate in initial stage of Three Waters reform (27 August 2020)