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Council Looks To Future As Three Waters Contract Brought In-house

In a further bid to reduce operational spending and position themselves strategically for the future of Three Waters, Horowhenua District Council have voted not to extend the Horowhenua Alliance Agreement, bringing the management of Three Waters Service Delivery in-house and back under Council control. A decision that looks to save ratepayers $250,000 in year one of the Long Term Plan 2024-2044 and upwards of $500,000 by year two.

With the Three Waters Reforms repealed by the new Coalition Government and the establishment of Local Waters Done Well (LWDW), ownership, management and service delivery of the Three Waters Services remains squarely with each Council.

While there may be opportunities to engage with neighbouring councils in establishing Council Controlled Organisations or sharing certain parts of the service delivery, for Horowhenua District Council this is ambitious as they look to consolidate their service delivery model and assess and establish which councils would support and benefit from a partnership model with Horowhenua District Council.

“The Alliance contract for Three Waters Service Delivery was the first of its kind for a Local Government Agency (LGA) in New Zealand. While it has served its purpose and aided Council in managing the inefficiencies of doing large expensive contracts five or six times a year for pipeline renewals, and ensuring Council’s ongoing ability to attract, train and retain staff in the Three Waters area, the requirement for us to seek cost efficiencies, work smarter and position ourselves strategically for LWDW has driven the need for change,” says Chief Executive Monique Davidson.

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“Over the next 12-18 months Council’s focus needs to be on managing and implementing comprehensive Activity Management Plans that include validated Master Planning for Water Treatment & Supply, and Stormwater and Wastewater Treatment & Discharge,” continues Davidson.

Council’s confidence in their ability to bring the management of Three Waters Service Delivery in-house comes off the back of a nine-month review that evaluated the current contract, the effectiveness and success or failure of the current model and explored potential management options moving beyond 2024.

“We are committed to continuing every effort to find ways to deliver services to our community in the most efficient and effective way. We are grateful for the partnership we have had with Downer and we are really looking forward to working with current contracted staff who may be interested in joining the Horowhenua District Council team for this exciting new chapter.”

The existing contract will conclude in November 2024.

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