“The ACT Party has today released our Three Waters Policy as we respond to the Government’s proposal to move control of water assets away from local communities and into centralised bodies,” says ACT’s Local Government spokesperson Simon Court.

“It is critical that New Zealanders have access to safe drinking water and high-quality infrastructure for storm and wastewater.

“Currently the system is not up to scratch, but the Government’s proposed reforms simply miss the mark.”

ACT’s Water Infrastructure Plan would:

  • Provide for councils to enter into voluntary “shared services” agreements, gaining the benefits of scale, while retaining local ownership and control
  • Establish long term 30-year Central Government-Local Government Partnership agreements to plan water infrastructure upgrades tailored to specific regions
  • Establish a Public-Private Partnerships (through our proposed Nation Building Agency) to attract investment from financial entities such as KiwiSaver funds, ACC, iwi investment funds, etc
  • Expand the exemption from domestic supply for a single dwelling to also include all small water suppliers sup plying fewer than 30 endpoint users.

“Simply shifting water assets from one government body to another is a recipe for more bureaucracy and less local input, not an enduring solution to upgrade water infrastructure in New Zealand.

“ACT’s plan will better balance community control of water assets alongside a plan for levelling up the necessary infrastructure to ensure safety and efficient water allocation. 

“ACT has engaged constructively through the initial process established by the Government. We are unconvinced the Government’s centralised model will result in better outcomes for our communities.

“Councils have asked for more time for consultation and ACT supports that call.”

Our policy document can be found here.