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Text box explaining what the three waters are - drinking water, waste water and stormwaterLast year the Government announced a proposal to change the way three waters services are managed across New Zealand.

The Government’s reform proposals would mean significant changes both for the Council and for residents, in the way that water services are managed in Selwyn.

On these pages you can find information about what the Government is proposing, what it might mean for Selwyn and what we are doing about it.

What is the Council doing now?

We are currently in an eight-week engagement period with the Government, through to the end of September 2021. This stage is to seek more information so that we can better understand the proposal and what it means for Selwyn.

This isn’t a decision-making period as the Government hasn’t finalised the reform proposals.

At the end of this period, the Council will go back to the Government with questions and initial feedback.

Selwyn residents have told us that having access to safe, secure and high quality water services is a top priority. We want to make sure our communities continue to have that access – and that future services are to the same quality standards that they currently enjoy, or better.


There are too many unknowns right now for us to be able to make an informed decision on whether or not to support the Government’s reform proposal.


We’re committed to giving our residents a say in that decision – but first we need to know more. So we’re asking for more information from Government – about things like:

  • Future costs to our communities and how they’ve been calculated
  • Ensuring continued access to services
  • When will our communities get the opportunity to see the detail of the proposal – and have a say?
  • How will our communities’ local voice be safeguarded?
  • How will the partnership with mana whenua work?
  • Who will set the priorities for investment decisions?

We’ve also taken the lead in asking the Government to pause the reform process until more detail is available and other critical reforms are further down the track – including the reform of the wider local government sector, and of the Resource Management Act.

We’re also working collaboratively work with the other councils in the proposed Entity D area, along with Ngāi Tahu, to better understand the potential impacts of the Government’s reform proposals.

Timeline and next steps

From October the Government will consider the next steps for the reform programme and a timeframe for decision-making, including public consultation with communities.

We will be making it clear in our feedback to the Government that we fully expect to consult with our community before
we make any decision. At this stage, provided the Government keeps the option for councils to opt in or out of the proposals, we expect this consultation to take place later this year, probably in November.

More information