Government announces water reforms to be mandated

On Wednesday 27 October the Government announced it would introduce legislation in December 2021 that would see the reforms put in place by July 2024. It also removed the option for Councils to opt-out of the reforms.

The Council is extremely disappointed that the Government has made the decision to force councils to become part of their new Three Waters reform entities.

The Council entered into the reform process after the Government committed to giving councils a choice about opting in or out of any proposed new entity.

Based on that assurance, we committed to consult with our communities before making any decision – that opportunity has now been stripped away from us.

What is the Council doing now?

The move to mandate the reform was signalled by the Government despite growing public opinion against the proposals.

In anticipation of this decision the council has been working with other South Island councils and Ngāi Tahu to influence the Government’s proposed South Island entity to keep it focussed on local priorities.

The Government will now set up a set up three separate working groups to address the governance, representation and accountability elements of their reform model.

The Council will continue advocate strongly through this process to ensure Selwyn communities have access to safe, high quality water and wastewater services and that future improvements are continually delivered.

Selwyn's water networks are relatively new and well-maintained and the costs for our residents are some of the lowest in the country.

Ensuring Selwyn receives benefits through reform and doesn’t just pay twice to improve others’ systems on top of our own is an ongoing concern.