Amending legislation to the government’s controversial Three Waters programme has passed its third reading under urgency at Parliament.
The bill would put in place the final series of changes to the drinking, waste and stormwater management regulations, including the increase from four entities to 10 smaller ones, announced in April.
It also delayed the start date of the entities by two years, to 2026.
The greater number of entities will mean they are more localised, and councils will typically have more influence in strategic oversight groups, but also means costs for ratepayers will likely be higher than under Labour’s previous plan.
Labour and the Green Party supported the Water Services Entities Amendment Bill, while National, ACT, and Te Pāti Māori opposed it.
National and ACT have promised to repeal the entire suite of reforms - but keep the water regulator Taumata Arowai - if elected in October.
With just three weeks before the House rises for election campaigning, the government is sitting under urgency to get several big pieces of legislation passed.
The two pieces of legislation for the reforms of the Resource Management Act are also expected to pass today.