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Government Reforms

Water reforms

Over the past few years, central government developed new legislation and operating reforms for how drinking water, wastewater and stormwater would be managed throughout New Zealand. This was to address the growing pressure all councils were facing to deliver water services efficiently, safely and affordably. After last year’s change of Government, the reform programme stopped. A new Local Water Done Well framework and transitional arrangements will be introduced and enacted in mid-2024. Legislation to establish enduring settings and begin transition will be introduced in December 2024 and enacted in mid-2025.

A national regulator will be established to oversee water infrastructure. The regulator will ensure water is managed sustainably, with fair pricing and quality standards. Local Water Done Well will require all councils to submit alternative water service delivery models to the Government for approval. There is flexibility for councils to choose a model that works best for them. The new policy will also introduce financial rules to councils for managing water. More information about Local Water Done Well can be read online here.

In 2019/20 – before the nationwide reform programme was rolled out – Hawke’s Bay councils developed a regional model for jointly managing water services. This model proposed having a Council Controlled Organisation (CCO) owning Hawke’s Bay’s water assets. Now that councils have flexibility to choose their own way to manage water, Hawke’s Bay councils are looking at whether a CCO is still the best option for Hawke’s Bay communities.

They will consider the effects and challenges of Cyclone Gabrielle. They will also consider the final shape of the Local Water Done Well reforms, which are intended to provide a streamlined process for establishing CCOs. If a CCO model is preferred by Hawke’s Bay’s councils, this will be the subject of separate community consultation in line with current legislation.

Until decisions are made about next steps, this Three-Year Plan 2024-27 has been prepared assuming that Napier City Council will continue to provide drinking water, wastewater and stormwater services to Napier residents. Our investment in water services will be the same as our historical investment until a way forward is decided.

You can find out more about the projects and maintenance planned for our networks on the Napier City Council website here.

Other Government reforms

The Government has committed to repealing the Natural and Built Environment Act 2023 and the Spatial Planning Act 2023, with legislation now passed. It also has plans to amend and, over time, replace the Resource Management Act 1991 with new resource management laws. These changes will all have impacts on our ways of working.

How to have your say

We've provided a number of ways for people to have their say on Napier's Three-Year Plan. 

  • If you need assistance or would like a copy of the full document, pop in and see the friendly team at our Customer Service Centre, Napier Library or Taradale Library.
  • Come and see us at one of our drop-in sessions on Sunday 7 April, Saturday 13 April and Saturday 20 April.
  • Complete the online submission form here.

NDiS logoNapier's Three-Year Plan consultation document is also available in various alternative formats, including easy-to-read, audio, and New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). You can access these files here.

A pdf version of the consultation information is available here. Please make your submission online here.

Do you want to hear from us more often and have your say on other Napier projects?

Join our People's Panel

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