Three Waters


Water sector/workforce

Three Waters reform is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create the conditions for major transformation in water services management and delivery long-term.

Economic analysis projects that the reforms will create 6,000 to 9,000 jobs over the next 30 years.

The Three Waters National Transition Unit has been created to establish the four new council-owned Water Services Entities through a consistent and coordinated nationwide approach to transition.

For water sector professionals, the structural changes proposed will create the conditions to build and sustain a highly skilled and adaptable workforce that can innovate and collaborate to drive outcomes for New Zealand.

Organisations of scale enable new training and career pathways, including in R&D, as well as the ability to actively develop a more inclusive and diverse workforce.  

Council employees who are not senior managers and primarily deliver or support water services will be guaranteed a role with their local water services entity. This role will be substantially the same as on their current employment agreement. They may also choose to accept a new employment agreement and union members may participate in bargaining for a new collective agreement. For senior managers, there will be a guaranteed job offer to a suitable new role.

The National Transition Unit is committed to ensuring that the transition is efficient, effective and minimises disruption to local government organisations, staff and communities, as well as to consumers.

There is a dedicated People & Workforce team within the National Transition Unit which is focused on planning and guiding the people side of the transition.

This team will work in partnership with the Water Services Entities and engage with three waters staff, their employers, their union representatives, and relevant professional associations.

Visit Te Rapunga for more detailed information on the staff transition.