Three Waters

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Timeline

Explore the timeline to learn more about the process leading up to reform and where we're going from here.

June 2000

Report issued by the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment noting industry and community evidence indicating the current ‘model’ for delivering three waters services “has now reached the end of its design life”.

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September 2010

The report states key changes to improve water services management included rationalisation of existing council-linked water utilities (both urban and rural) into a small number of large, publicly owned utilities to provide water supply, wastewater and associated management services.

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August 2016

Havelock North Gastroenteritis outbreak

Resulting in an estimated 5,500 people sick, 45 people hospitalised and linked to multiple deaths.

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September 2016

Attorney-General, Hon Christopher Finlayson, announces the establishment of an Inquiry into the Havelock North Drinking Water contamination event.

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May 2017

The report found councils failures contributed to the outbreak and put public safety at stake.

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June 2017

Local Government Minister Anne Tolley initiates a cross-agency Three Waters Review.

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December 2017

It found the problems relating to the delivery of drinking water were not limited to Havelock North and were evident in other parts of New Zealand. It recommended improvements were urgently needed in both regulatory and delivery systems.

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2018-2019

Three Waters Review raises questions about the effectiveness of the regulatory regime for the three waters system, and the capability and sustainability of water service providers (67 councils).

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November 2018

Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Health Minister David Clark announce work to overhaul three waters regulation as part of the Three Waters Review.

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December 2019

Water Services Regulator Bill introduced to Parliament to establish a dedicated water services regulator.

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July 2020

Three Waters Reform Programme announced to address the service delivery of drinking water, wastewater and stormwater services.

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October 2021

Water Services Act 2021 passes to establish water services regulator Taumata Arowai to oversee compliance with new drinking water standards, and future reporting on environmental performance of wastewater and stormwater networks.

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March 2022

To lead transition of water services management and delivery from 67 councils to four new Water Services Entities.

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March 2022

With recommendations on strengthening local representation, governance and accountability arrangements for the new Water Services Entities.

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May 2022

The report is released to recognise rural communities’ unique drinking water needs.

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June 2022

Water Services Entities Bill introduced to Parliament to establish the four new Water Services Entities.

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December 2022

The Bill will pass into law and become the Water Services Entities Act once it receives Royal Assent.

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December 2022

This outlines further technical detail to establish the Water Services Entities.

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1 July 2024

Water Services Entities established

Water Services Entities established to provide  drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater services.

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