Three Waters Reform

As you might be aware, the Government is looking to change how three waters services are managed and delivered across Aotearoa New Zealand. Currently, these services – drinking water, waste water, and storm water – are delivered by 67 councils, and the Government is proposing to consolidate these services under 4 publicly-owned entities instead.

We all need reliable access to safe drinking water, and we also have a responsibility to look after our environment. These reforms have been proposed following the death of four people in Havelock North in 2016, where 35 people were also hospitalised and many more fell ill after consuming contaminated water. Analysis by the government suggests that some parts of the country have seen decades of underinvestment in three waters infrastructure, and the bill to fix and maintain these networks is now too large for many councils to afford.

Community engagement

In April 2022, we engaged with the Lower Hutt community to ask people to share their thoughts on three areas: impact of reforms on water infrastructure, support for the reforms, and priorities for water services.

You can find the key engagement insights from our survey below. You can also find FAQs, detailed financial information on the reforms and links to further resources at the bottom of this page.

Three Waters Engagement report


The Water Services Entities Bill was introduced to Parliament in June 2022. Council made a submission on Friday 22 July on the proposed legislation to the Finance and Expenditure Committee, which you can read here

In December 2022 the Water Services Legislation Bill was introduced to Parliament. Council made a submission on this legislation in February 2023, which you can read here

Frequently asked questions

For more information please see our FAQ's

For more information