The reform will see the delivery of Tauranga’s drinking water, wastewater and stormwater transferred from Council to a new Bay of Plenty regional entity (Entity C).
We will continue to manage Tauranga’s water services until the new entity comes into place.
All legislation for Water Services Reform now law
The final three bills of the Water Services Reform’s suite of legislation (four in total) passed through Parliament in August 2023. This means all bills relating to reforming three waters services across New Zealand are now law and the legal mandate to transition three waters services from Councils to Water Services Entities is established.
Visit the Water Services Reform website to learn more about the reform.
Water Services Entities Map 285kb pdf
Why the change?
Local Councils are facing significant challenges with the future funding, maintenance, and management of drinking water, stormwater and wastewater services.
To read more about the Government’s water services reform programme, visit the Water Services Reform website.
What does this mean for Tauranga?
While Tauranga City Council is delivering some of the best water services in New Zealand, we can still see challenges that need to be addressed.
Our community will see no significant difference in their water services. You will, however, notice a difference in who is sending invoices and handling customer service; just like if you were to switch power or mobile services from one provider to another.
We recognise and support the need for iwi/Māori to work alongside council to ensure that any reform doesn’t adversely impact existing rights and interests. We also see value in the perspective Tangata Whenua can offer as the reforms unfold.
A partnership brings the opportunity to incorporate the value of mātauranga Māori (Māori knowledge) to facilitate the best outcomes for New Zealand communities. The reform provides an opportunity to start this process side-by-side.
The reform is aimed at delivering the outcomes of Te Mana o te Wai, a set of principles co-designed with iwi/Māori to lift the water quality of our streams, rivers and lakes.
Locally, we have committed to working in partnership with Te Rangapū Mana Whenua o Tauranga Moana (the representative group for our iwi and hapū in the Tauranga City Council area).
Transitioning to the new entities
The Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) has established a National Transition Unit (NTU) to focus on the practical implementation of the reforms. This unit will work with the local government sector, iwi, water industry and other stakeholders to transition to the new arrangements.
We are involved with transition discussions to see the best outcome for our communities, our environment and future generations.
See previous Council and community feedback on Water Services Reform
This is a government mandated reform. Throughout the process there were opportunities to share feedback with the Government on the development of legislation.
See previous feedback and find out more about opportunities for feedback
In late 2021, Central Government asked councils to seek feedback from their communities on the Three Waters reform proposal. The results of an online survey for our Tauranga community were used to develop feedback sent to central government in September 2021.
View the 2021 Three Waters reform feedback (295kb pdf)
The concerns raised by the community were used in our submissions to Parliament.