The Three Waters reform is taking shape as the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) announces the establishment of the Three Waters National Transition Unit Board and two executive directors joining the reform.
The board, chaired by Sir Brian Roche, will provide advice and support on the delivery of four water services entities that are planned to be established as part of the Three Waters reform.
Hamiora Bowkett (Ngāti Rangiwewehi, Te Arawa, Te Rarawa) will lead the reform programme as its executive director and Heather Shotter will head the national transition unit, responsible for establishing the four new water services entities.
Bowkett has 21 years of experience across the public and private sectors and a diverse background working with whānau Māori and iwi across the health and social sector as well as experience in commercial advisory, infrastructure investment, financial management and economic development.
Deputy Chief Executive for the Local Government Branch Michael Lovett says: "Hamiora joins the team from Te Puni Kōkiri, where he is Deputy Secretary Strategy, Finance and Performance. He has the right mix of skills and senior experience across the public sector to lead this ambitious reform programme."
Shotter is currently Palmerston North City Council's Chief Executive, a member of the Joint Central/Local Government Three Waters Steering Group and the Local Government Infrastructure Reference Group.
The DIA says that from July 1, 2024, four new water services entities will deliver drinking water, wastewater and stormwater services to people across New Zealand. The National Transition Unit and its board will advise the Department's Chief Executive and create the four local entities, to support and drive the transition in their areas.
The six National Transition Unit board members are Sir Brian Roche, John Duncan, Fiona Mules, Rukumoana Schaafhausen, Richard Wagstaff and Peter Winder.
Roche has experience in the establishment and operation of organisations and he chairs Waka Kotahi NZTA as well as the Covid-19 Independent Continuous Review, Improvement and Advice Group.
Duncan has experience in management and global financial markets and he is a Deputy Chairman of Kāinga Ora and the Public Trust as well as an adviser to the Auckland City Council on financial issues.
Mules has a background in investment banking and is currently an independent director of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, Lyttelton Port Company and Rural Livestock.
Schaafhausen is a lawyer who has governance experience with her previous role being Chairwoman of Te Arataura, Waikato-Tainui and she is currently serving in governance roles in a number of iwi, community, private and public organisations.
Wagstaff is the President of the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions and a member of the International Labour Organisation's Governing Body.
Winder has experience as a director, chief executive and senior manager in the private sector as well as local and central government due to being a council member and Establishment Board Member of Te Pūkenga, the Chairman of Unitech and Manukau Institute of Technology.
Meanwhile, the Government's Three Waters Working Group has been granted a short extension to report back to the Government. Its report is now due on March 7. The DIA says the extension is not expected to affect the timing of legislation and the first bill is expected to be introduced mid-2022.