Council begins Three Waters community conversation

Western Bay of Plenty District Council CEO John Holyoake.

The Western Bay of Plenty District Council is wanting to talk to the community about the Three Waters reform.

From July 1, 2024, the management of drinking water, wastewater and stormwater will be transferred from 67 councils to four public-owned entities after Government mandated its Three Waters reform for all councils, rejecting the option to make it voluntary.

Western Bay of Plenty District Council wants to hear people’s ideas on what "good" looks like from a governance and accountability perspective when the reform starts.

Council CEO John Holyoake says while Government’s mandate decision may be a bitter pill to swallow for some, the focus must move to providing feedback on critical aspects they can help influence.

Councils nationwide have raised a number of concerns about the proposed representation, governance and accountability arrangements for the new entities.

To address these concerns Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta has established a working group of council and iwi representatives tasked with recommending strengthened governance and accountability arrangements for the Three Waters Reform Programme.

The other critical issues for councils, including rural water schemes and integration with the planning system, will also be worked on with the sector.

The Working Group will report back to Government in March 2022, which ensures there is time for the advice and recommendations to inform the final entity design.

“Whether you support Government’s decision or not it is important that together we shift the conversation to the outstanding issues the working group will be discussing and providing recommendations to Government on,” says John.

“Throughout this reform process we have remained committed to having a conversation on the reform. This has not changed.

“While the option to opt in or out is no longer available we still want to offer the opportunity for the community to express their ideas on the governance structure and provide useful information to the working group.”

This means thinking about:

-who makes what decisions?

-who should be responsible for running the entity?

-who should be responsible for setting the direction of the entity?

-how can local communities influence the direction?

-how should the interests of mana whenua be reflected?

There are three ways people can join in on the conversation and give feedback.

Council will collate this information and send it to Government's working group for consideration.

Visit WBOPDC website and post ideas on its digital pin board, and rank the potential Governance and Accountability outcomes in order that are most important to you (one being most important and nine being least important).

Share ideas on one of two virtual sessions on Thursday 9 December (7-8pm) and Friday, December 10, (12-1pm).

Both sessions will have Council staff and Councillors listening to your ideas. To register for one of the online sessions follow the prompts at by Friday, December 3.

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Why scared of Maori representation

Posted on 02-12-2021 20:59 | By Get our roads

Why are you lot kicking and screaming about Maori having a say in water, why, what’s the problem? You want all white people in there. I can tell you now that Maori will have a far greater knowledge of all the rivers that flow through Aotearoa and feed all the Council reservoirs to give you drinking water than all the white people in Aotearoa. To think Maori are trying to steal your assets, what a joke, what did you do to them, perhaps a history lesson would jog your memories. And if you dont come from here, we dont want to hear from you anyway. Tauranga’s water is running out because you all thinking it just magically come out of your tap for you to waste, and if the rivers are doomed, so are you.

Tom Ranger

Posted on 25-11-2021 13:50 | By Tom Ranger

Imagine if normal folk operated like that... I have come to consult taking your vehicle. Ahhh Buutt...*Turns key and shifts into drive* Hang on... *Drives away waving*

Dumbkof2 is talking sense.

Posted on 25-11-2021 13:38 | By morepork

I agree 100%.

Vote them out

Posted on 25-11-2021 06:57 | By Kancho

Seems Labour Greens are going to impose 3 waters regardless of concerns from many. Setting up large a bureaucracy on borrowed money instead of assistance to existing systems by taking ratepayers assets in wrong. Bureaucracy like kiwibuild fiasco. Neither is appointed governance but race as it is racism and an attack on democratic process. Governance should always be by experience and merit not by who your ancestors were.

Go Nanaia

Posted on 24-11-2021 20:54 | By Get our roads

Now you want public consultation. Most of WBOP voters are white, rich and have not even lived here all their lives and dont even know what this stupid overpopulated town used to be like. If any of you did, you would have seen the need for the motorway years ago before coming here to live. Taking water off Councils is a godsend because you never cared about it in the first place. How can you say infrastructure is in a good place when you cant even get roading right, you in Omokoroa are going to kill the environment out there, oops, you JAFAS already have.


Posted on 24-11-2021 11:11 | By Let's get real

A decision has been made to basically give 15% of the population blocking powers over any and all decisions regarding water and we now have a council officer wanting to placate public concerns. Let’s not also forget that at least one political party has announced that they will reverse this racist legislation. So is this just more council money down drain...?


Posted on 24-11-2021 10:30 | By dumbkof2

the sooner mahuta and her cohorts are kicked out the better

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