What could it mean for WDC?
The Three Waters reform programme has the potential to significantly change the way critical water infrastructure and services are delivered in our district.
In Waitomo, we have invested heavily in our water management, and infrastructure on behalf of, and for the benefit of, our community and the environment.
Because of this investment, we are well positioned for the future.
Amalgamation could remove our responsibility for maintaining critical waters infrastructure and services. For example, Council would no longer be responsible for delivering drinking water supplies to households. It may also mean changes to how much our ratepayers pay for water and wastewater services, and who they pay for these services, in the future.
All of the three water assets (water treatment plants, water mains, pump stations etc) will remain in public ownership.
An economic regulator will be set up to regulate the water entities. It will protect consumer interests, and act as a driver of efficiency gains over time. The regulator will also ensure equity of pricing and equity of access to services. It will also provide mechanisms to recognise treaty rights and interests and prevent future privatisation.
This is considered best practice in delivering infrastructure services such as energy and transport.