Help us provide Hamilton’s feedback on the Government’s water reform proposals

Closed 13 Sep 2021

Opened 20 Aug 2021

Feedback updated 16 Jun 2022

We asked

In August and September 2021 Council conducted an short survey of Hamiltonians via social media and our Have Your Say platform regarding developing proposals by Government for Three Waters Reform. In July 2021 Local Government New Zealand provided guidance to Councils on an eight-week review period, concluding on 30 September 2021, to consider proposals for reform. We asked for your views on the reform and other aspects of our future water services you wanted us to raise with Government.

You said

There were 106 submissions made via Have Your Say. The majority of respondents were not in support of the initial proposal for the Three Waters Reform.

The most common reasons for not supporting the reform were:

  • Concern about losing control of the management of infrastructure and resources 
  • Believe we should not be selling or giving up our ratepayers’ assets or infrastructure 
  • There needs to be more information provided, more consultation, and/or a referendum 

The most common reasons for supporting the reform were:

  • Economic gains and better infrastructure maintenance due to shared costs 
  • The government would provide better ongoing management of infrastructure and resources 
  • It would be good to have a consistent approach to water nationwide

We did

On 1 October 2021 Council wrote to the Minister for Local Government and provided a submission to Government detailing areas of the reform programme which required further development. Council expressed its disappointment in the process to date and noted it did not support in its entirety the reform proposals. Council’s formal feedback noted: As this is the Government’s reform Council expects clear information which would include a formal proposal and opportunities for councils to formally consult with their communities. In December 2021 Council resolved to consult with Hamiltonians when legislation was available from Government and the timings of select committee submissions known. Government has indicated this information, and a public consultation process, will be announced in mid-2022. Council’s submission and letter to the Minister from October 2021 are linked below.sion and letter to the Minister from October 2021 are linked below.

Published responses

View submitted responses where consent has been given to publish the response.


Hamilton City Council supports the Government’s goals of ensuring safe, sustainable, and economically efficient delivery of three waters services. However, we have been clear any proposals or structural changes must be developed in full partnership with local government.

Right now we’re in an eight-week review period which ends on 1 October 2021. In this review period we are evaluating the latest information from Government and providing feedback on the proposals so far. On behalf of our community, we want more information on:

  • effective governance and representation option for Hamiltonians, 
  • a clear voice for local communities to influence entity decision-making, 
  • more clarity on iwi/Maaori engagement and participation, 
  • detail on treatment of potential asset transfers and other financial data
  • a clearer picture of the non-financial benefits for our communities through the proposed reform. This particularly applies to environmental outcomes and links to our overall disappointment with the way anticipated reform benefits have been communicated to the public and councils to date.

At this stage we don’t have a final proposal or details on any decision Council will be asked to make. We are not being asked to decide to opt in or out of the reform, but to help shape the Government’s developing proposals to ensure Hamiltonians get the best deal possible. We want to make sure community feedback is part of that picture.

We are building a full feedback document ahead of our Council meeting of 30 September. As we develop this, we’re keen to hear if there are other aspects of our future water services you would like us to raise with Government. Please let us know your thoughts before Monday 13 September 2021.