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Three Waters for Councils

Funding historical water infrastructure deficits is a significant challenge for many councils, which currently have to offset decisions about water infrastructure against other necessities. Water infrastructure often comes out second best.

Councils are facing significant resourcing challenges over the coming years. Population growth, housing pressures and an increase in natural disasters and climate change mean that councils can prepare their communities for the future.

As well as saving ratepayers money in the long term, the Government’s reform programme will enable councils to focus on the wellbeing and aspirations of their communities – rather than many councils struggling to fund the growing burden of three waters costs. 

The Government has developed, in close partnership with Local Government New Zealand, a package of $2.5 billion to support the sector through the transition to the new water services delivery system, and to position the sector for the future. This package will ensure that local authorities are supported through the transition process, the financial impacts of reform are managed and importantly, all councils and communities will transition to the new system for delivering three waters services in a better position than where they are now.

The reforms and better off funding will allow councils to invest in projects that communities feel they need the most, be it local parks and gardens, swimming pools, libraries and community centres, or investment in public transport and infrastructure to protect against extreme weather events and sea level rises.