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Three Waters Reform Programme

Background and timeline

On 30 June, Government publicly released information on the shape of their Three Waters Reform Programme. This included the numbers and boundaries of the proposed Water Service Entities and information on Governance.

On 15 July, they announced a proposed support package for local government, including $2.5b spend – of which $15.5m was earmarked for Masterton to invest in the future of local government, urban development, and the wellbeing of our community.

Government has released it’s response to the Three Waters Working Group on Representation, Governance and Accountability recommendations. Read their response.

In March 2022, Masterton District Council voted  to join a number of other councils around the country in the Communities 4 Local Democracy Group.

In July 2022 we submitted on the Government’s Water Services Entities Bill, the first of a suite of bills the Government is bringing forward to reform New Zealand’s drinking-water, wastewater and stormwater services. The Bill will create four publicly owned WSEs to provide water services in place of local authorities. Read our submission.

Better Off Funding

In April 2022, the Government announced that councils could apply for Tranche 1 of the Three Waters ‘Better Off’ Funding from July 2022, with applications closing 30 September 2022. Tranche 2 applications will open in July 2024.

As part of Tranche 1, Masterton District Council has been allocated $3.88 million.

Over May and June 2022, the council identified and shortlisted projects that would meet the funding criteria and has sought community feedback on that short-list.

In December 2022, the final funding was approved by Government.

The majority of the funding will see $2.25m allocated to upgrades of the Masterton wastewater network – bolstering already allocated funding of $1.6m per year.

Other projects receiving funding include:

·         Planting for biodiversity and fish passages – $200,000

·         Pūkaha funding contribution – $335,000

·         Climate change activator for three years – $250,000

·         Mana whenua partnerships/climate resilience – $575,000

·         Urban Safe Transport Routes Implementation Plan – $50,000

·         Trust House Recreation Centre and War Memorial Stadium assessment – $120,000

·         Air quality actions scope and business case – $100,000

Transition Support Package

In July 2022, Government announced a Transition Support package, separate to the Better Off Funding programme, to assist with the costs and resourcing necessary to set up the new Three Waters system.

These costs include information gathering and reporting requirements relating to the transfer of assets, liabilities, workforce, and contracts to Water Service Entities, as well as costs associated with complying with any additional requirements or processes mandated by the Water Services Entities Bill or subsequent legislation.

Masterton District Council have been allocated up to $407,000 +gst as part of Tranche 1 of this funding.

Further information

We’ll keep you informed as things progress, meanwhile get the latest information from the Department of Internal Affairs website.

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