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Inquiry provides for much-needed review of drinking water


13 September 2016

Water New Zealand says the inquiry into the Havelock North campylobacter outbreak provides a much-needed opportunity to focus on the way drinking water is managed across New Zealand.

President Brent Manning says he welcomes the terms of reference which will look at the regulatory regimes under which various agencies operate as well as any lessons and improvements that can be made to both local and central government systems.

“This is an opportunity to look at the roles and responsibilities of both central and local government in the supply of our drinking water.”

He says access to safe, clean drinking water is one of the expectations of living in a developed country but this comes at a cost.

“Under the current system, this is a cost that is largely imposed on local authorities and it is one which many smaller communities struggle to afford.”

Brent Manning says New Zealanders should also better understand the options around drinking water treatment along with the risks and benefits of different approaches.

“This is not a simple issue but it is one which needs a national discussion and the inquiry will provide that opportunity.”

The inquiry, to be headed by retired judge Lyn Stevens, will include a former Water New Zealand President, engineer Anthony Wilson, as well as former director-general of health, Karen Poutasi.

For more information contact Brent Manning tel 027 752 2187 or Communications Advisor Debra Harrington tel 027 202 8857

Water New Zealand is a national not-for-profit organisation which promotes the sustainable management and development of New Zealand’s three waters (freshwater, wastewater and storm water). Water New Zealand is the country's largest water industry body, providing leadership and support in the water sector through advocacy, collaboration and professional development. Its 1,600 members are drawn from all areas of the water management industry including regional councils and territorial authorities, consultants, suppliers, government agencies, academia and scientists.