Statement regarding three waters reform

Central Government has today announced its approach to Three Waters reform including the creation of four large publicly owned water entities to take responsibility for the management of drinking water, wastewater and stormwater across the country.

As part of this announcement the Government has also released data provided by local authorities in February this year along with analysis of that data to inform their proposal.

ICC elected members and staff will be working through the information over the coming weeks to see how the analysis completed by Government compares to ICC’s analysis. ICC has made some significant changes to its Long Term Plan in recent months, which will have an impact.

Council’s debt position has shifted materially since the information was provided as part of the Three Waters RFI process in February. At that time Council debt for the start of the 2022 financial year was anticipated to be about $110 million. ICC reviewed its investment portfolio and the opening debt position is now roughly $56 million. This has a significant impact on Council’s ability for future borrowing and lowers the financing costs forecast against Three Waters and other services.

We will work through those changes so we can fully assess the impact of the proposed reforms for Invercargill City, and discuss this with Government in the coming months.