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Source: Auckland Council

Consultation opens today seeking Aucklander’s views on how the government might set up a new water entity for Auckland (and the northern councils).

Auckland Council is seeking feedback on how the entity tasked with managing water services and assets, will be accountable to the people of our region.

People have until 11.59pm on Sunday 19 December to submit feedback. Information, including how to sign up for online webinars, a consultation document and an online submission form is available at akhaveyoursay.nz/3waters

In October 2021 the Government announced its proposal to reform New Zealand’s water sector. This included confirming that it will legislate for four publicly owned water entities to provide drinking water, wastewater and stormwater services. This reform will be mandatory for all councils across New Zealand.

“Aucklanders will have the opportunity to give their feedback on the council’s views on the governance, representative and accountability arrangements of the proposed entities,” says Mayor Phil Goff. “We will also be carrying out independent research to support the consultation.

“Auckland Council made a commitment to consult with Aucklanders, to ensure that we are accurately reflecting the views of our constituents in the position we take to government,” he says

Consultation and research feedback will be used to inform Auckland Council’s input, through Mayor Goff, into the working group that is charged with working through the proposed governance, representation and accountability arrangements; our submission to the Water Services Entity Bill; and into a second bill later in 2022.

While Auckland Council supports many of the outcomes detailed in the government’s proposal, there are some areas where we have concerns.

We support:

  • Lifting the quality of water supply and wastewater treatment across Aotearoa New Zealand
  • Providing more investment into water infrastructure across the country
  • The need outside of Auckland to achieve greater scale and capability in the delivery of water
  • Improving water quality in our lakes, rivers and beaches.

We have concerns with:

  • The complexity of the governance framework for water entities
  • Loss of direct control of water assets and services for Aucklanders
  • Limited representation for Auckland, in proportion to the assets and population served
  • Limited benefits, given existing scale and efficiency our current structure provides
  • Less integration with Auckland Council’s planning and development functions.

Find out more

Visit akhaveyoursay.nz/3waters to register for an informative community webinar session:

  • Monday 6 December, 6.30pm (online)
  • Monday 13 December, 6.30pm (online).

Read more about the council’s position on the government’s proposal on OurAuckland.

MIL OSI