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THREE WATERS: LGNZ’s response to the Government’s policy reset

Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ)’s President Stuart Crosby says more detail is needed before we know the full impact of the Government’s Three Waters policy reset, but acknowledges it's a genuine shift and responds to key parts of local government’s feedback.  

The Government has today announced that they’ll increase the number of water entities to 10 with water services entities up and running by 1 July 2026 at the latest.  

“There are 78 councils across the motu.  Within local government there are many and varied views on reform. One thing the vast majority agree on is that water reform is necessary,” says Stuart Crosby.  

“We will need to go back to our councils to understand their views on the new model.  

“LGNZ has been advocating for stronger local voice and closer connections to communities in the model for a long time. In fact, from when the model was first announced. 

“Our submission also called for Water Services Entities to start operating when they are ready. 

So this announcement is a step in the right direction, but a number of questions remain.

“Minister Kieran McAnulty has said that increasing the number of entities comes with trade-offs. We won’t know what the full impact of these changes are to our communities until amendments to the Bill are drafted and further decisions on elements of the reform  - including planning and funding are made.  

“LGNZ will be working with councils to get their views and also with the Government to give our members the clarity they need,” Stuart Crosby said. 

LGNZ’s submission on the Water Services Entities Bill can be found here.  

Media Contact: Ranjani Ponnuchetty 027 575 0542  

About LGNZ  

LGNZ provides the vision and voice for local democracy in Aotearoa New Zealand. We’re a membership organisation, supporting and advocating for councils and their communities. LGNZ is involved in policy, reforms, programmes and advocacy as well as providing advice, consultancy and training to councils and their staff.