Kia ora koutou
Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced this week that the Government will legislate the three waters reform to apply to all councils. This will provide certainty for councils and, importantly, those professionals (council team members, consultants, and contractors) now involved in delivering three waters services for our communities across Aotearoa. Our weekly eNews here sets out the key announcements of importance to our IPWEA NZ members.
IPWEA NZ has been working with the Department of Internal Affairs on the reforms emphasising the importance of competency and capability development in, and deployment of, asset management best practices and as a key contributor to the successful future of three waters and to overall community wellbeing. We will continue to advocate strongly on behalf of members to promote the value of asset management professionals being recognised in the design and development of the four new water entities.
We will also seek to ensure that existing references to asset management skills and experience being required in the new governance boards is retained and emphasised. We will be engaging with the transition unit now mandated within the Department of Internal Affairs, to support capability development initiatives in asset management, both for the new water entities and councils as they adapt their teams to the changes. We understand the importance for our water industry to have qualified asset managers to support the ongoing success of this sector and indeed the benefits of good asset management practice and continued professional development in all infrastructure sectors.
For example, we will ensure the transition unit understands how our Digital Badge micro-credentials can enhance widespread understanding of asset management best practice, and will highlight the IPWEA Asset Management Pathway, including the Professional Certificate in Asset Management Planning as a recognised qualification for those who are emersed in the profession. We will also emphasise that the IIMM provides a definitive baseline for asset management best practice and that we will continue to develop this resource to ensure it is relevant for three waters practitioners in a new delivery environment.
Our joint letter with Water New Zealand and ACE New Zealand (here) provided to the Minister in September supporting the water and infrastructure outcomes being targeted by the reforms, was tabled in Parliament and has been well received. We will continue to work with our peer organisations to ensure that our sector interests are well represented and that good asset management practice is applied to benefit the wellbeing of entire communities.
IPWEA NZ will be seeking to support all our members to transition through this significant structural, social, and economic change – the likes of which has not been experienced in the local government sector in 30 years. We will provide collegial networking events, such as November’s Water Asset Management Forum being hosted jointly with Water New Zealand, to bring together colleagues and peers for discussion and sharing of experiences, concerns, opportunities, and risks. Similar opportunities for sharing will occur next year at February’s Future Fit Aotearoa conference, the RIMS Forum in March, the NAMS Forum in June, our Sustainability through Reform Conference in October, our Land Development Forum in November, and of course, at our various branch events held throughout the year.
Such sharing will be critical to each of us successfully navigating the next few years and being part of a change intended to shape New Zealand’s water infrastructure for future generations. We appreciate that there will new pathways and frameworks to engage in through this transformation and we wish to support our members through the practical transition that is occurring. Our internally recognised asset management practice and network enables you, our members to create a highly valued place in this future.
If you have feedback that could be useful for our IPWEA NZ team to consider in relation to the reforms, the transition process and how we can best support you, our members, and the sector over the next few years, please let me know at email@example.com.
Ngā mihi, kia pai tō koutou rā
Priyani de Silva-Currie
President | IPWEA NZ