Government’s reform programme will require councils around the country to decide whether they will join the new three waters service delivery arrangements or ‘go it alone’.
Hawke’s Bay’s four councils – Central Hawke’s Bay District Council, Hastings District Council, Napier City Council and Wairoa District Council - are currently participating in the first stage of the Government’s reform process, which allows us to partner in the reform process but does not commit us to joining the new arrangements that Government decides.
Because we worked together to commission an independent in-depth assessment of the issues and options for the future of three waters service delivery across our region, we are in a very strong position to represent the interests of Hawke’s Bay through the Government’s reform process. We want the best outcomes for Hawke’s Bay:
• Three waters services that are affordable and effective
• Services that are safe, reliable and resilient
• A model that enables a meaningful role for Māori
• A model that has the value of water at the centre
• Three waters services provided in a way that supports our urban and rural communities
• Three waters services that build enduring capability and capacity now and into the future
Once Government has decided what the new multi-regional service delivery model will look like and how multi-regional entities will operate, it will be up to every council in New Zealand to decide, in consultation with their communities, whether to opt into the new arrangements or not.
Opting in would see each council’s responsibility for three waters service delivery handed over to a multi-regional entity. Opting not to join would mean a council keeps financial and operational responsibility for the delivery of three waters services to their ratepayers, including meeting all the new three waters standards Government is introducing as part of its wider reform programme.
Hawke’s Bay’s councils will not be making any decisions until Government has determined the multi-regional model, and only after we have consulted with you, our communities. You can see from the Governement's reform timeline that consultation is likely to happen in the latter part of this year, with Councils needing to making their decisions by the end of the year.
If councils decide to participate in the new model, there will be a transition process to go through before the responsibility for service delivery transfers to the new entity – likely to happen in 2023.
Wai/Water is considered a taonga/treasure to Māori. Māori culture and values have always placed a high importance on the energy, value and need to respect wai/water. Marae have always been established close to water, and the rivers, harbours and sea have always been a source of food. This is particularly evident in Hawke’s Bay. For Māori and communities, the health of the water is connected to the health of the people; we are one and the same.
He tāonga te wai ki te Māori. Kua roa nei te ahurea Māori me ōna uaratanga e aro ana ki te ia, ki te wāriu me te manaaki i te wai. He pātata ngā marae ki te wai, ki ngā awa, ki ngā whanga me te moana, inā rā he pātaka kai ēnei. Ka tino kitea tēnei āhuatanga i Te Matau-a-Māui. Hei tā ngā Māori me ngā hapori, he hononga tō te oranga o te wai ki te oranga o te tangata, e rua e rua.
The Crown (Government) is engaging directly with iwi/Māori through the Three Waters reform process and is committed to working in partnership with Treaty Partners as the reforms progress. The Department of Internal Affairs is responsible for leading this process.
You can find out more about the Department’s hui-ā-motu on the reform programme here
In our review of Hawke’s Bay’s three waters service delivery options, a set of cultural principles were developed through engagement with Councils’ Māori Standing committees and a cultural case was developed.
The role of the cultural case is to highlight that within the regulatory framework relating to water, Te Ao Māori, through its language, genealogy, stories and traditions, requires a greater level of competency than usual. The cultural case is underpinned by the Treaty of Waitangi.
It identifies a model that paves the pathway of Hawke’s Bay partnership and co-design with Māori underpinned by the Treaty of Waitangi. In doing so it recognises twenty-plus years of relationship growth between five Hawkes Bay councils, post-Treaty settled iwi and the Ngāti Kahungunu iwi Taiwhenua structure. The cultural case recognises iwi and hapū regional affiliations and their preparedness to act collectively which exists because of relationships, trust and confidence, born of time and kanohi ki te kanohi.
We are drawing on the cultural case as we participate in Government’s reform process.
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