To implement new features and clean up the code without breaking third-party tools that rely on undocumented internals, distutils had been forked under the name distutils2 and developed outside of Python’s standard library. The goal was to include in the standard library in Python 3.3, under the name packaging. However, during Python 3.3 development period, it was removed, and the goals of PEP 398 were deferred to a later release of Python. See this thread on the mailing list.
On various mailing lists, forums, Q&A sites and even the Pypi page of distutils2, you may read that distutils2 is included in Python 3.3. This is in fact incorrect, and was a premature statement to make.
See Distutils2/Contributing for bug and patch submission guidelines.
Setup instructions for the 2012 sprints in Montreal are here: Distutils2/Sprints.
For an historical document discussing problems and features, see http://bitbucket.org/tarek/distutils2/src/tip/docs/design/wiki.rst