It's time to demand better water reform, South Canterbury

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Published: 13 Jul 2022

It’s time for everyone to demand better three waters reform, and reject the Government’s one size fits none plan, say South Canterbury Mayors.

The public currently have their one and only opportunity to have their say on the water reforms through the Select Committee process and it’s important that they don’t miss the opportunity.

Full guidance on how people can provide their feedback is now at

Everyone has until July 22 to have their say on this law, which will fundamentally change how our essential infrastructure is delivered and controlled.

Timaru District Mayor, Nigel Bowen said that he had been approached by many people unhappy with what was being suggested, now it was time for them and everyone else to take action.

“This is the only chance that you will get to have any say whatsoever on what happens to our district’s infrastructure,” said Bowen.

“We have seen a huge move to merge and centralise services such as with the Polytechnics through Te Pukenga and health through Te Whai Ora, and all the reforms seem to be delivering is bigger bureaucracies and ballooning contractor costs.

“Do we want this for our water services, or do we want a common sense reform that works for everyone?

“We need to deliver a strong message to the Government that people want a better form of reform that respects the decades of investment by local communities and enables them to preserve a real say in how their money is spent in future.”

Waimate District Mayor, Craig Rowley said councils weren’t suggesting the status quo, and were proposing a model of reform that will offer better results.

“Through Communities 4 Local Democracy He Hapori mō te Manapori we’ve developed a common sense model for reform that everyone can get behind and that delivers every outcome sought by the Government,” said Rowley.

“We’ve worked hard to create a model for reform that will ensure better long term water services for every community, now it’s time for our community to take a few minutes and demand better water reform.”

While the reform was being driven out of Wellington, Mackenzie District Mayor Graham Smith said it was important that not only Wellington voices were heard.

“We’re also calling on the Government to ensure that local communities are heard by making sure that the select committee meetings aren’t heard solely in Wellington, so when you have the option of speaking in person it’s important to take that opportunity,” said Smith.

“If you don’t want to see future water services that are ‘all pay, no say’ this is your only opportunity to stand up and be counted.

“Every person that doesn’t take part in the process will be count ed by the government as being in support of this plan.”

Submissions are now being accepted on the Water Services Entities Bill at:

For guidance on how your submission support our work to deliver better water reform, visit

Last updated: 13 Jul 2022