The five pillars of Water New Zealand

Our key focus is around four core priorities: provision of technical advice to industry and government, advocacy, skills development and training, along with membership support and communications. We do this through our five pillars.

Wai is wai

We aim to value and re-normalise Māori perspectives in the work we do through enabling culturally enhanced leadership and decision-making. Through our webinars, training courses, guides and articles in publications, we support our members and the wider sector to understand and give effect to Te Mana o te Wai in their work.

The concept of Te Mana o te Wai supports an inclusive relationship with all communities in Aotearoa New Zealand to ensure we restore and preserve the balance between water, the environment and people. We believe all parties with responsibility for ensuring water quality should be required to give effect to Te Mana o te Wai.

Our Towards 2050: Transformation vision for the water sector document provides a vision for the development of the sector out to 2050 – starting today.

Our Cultural Significance and Importance of Wai module has been very popular with our members. Our goal is that the sector has a greater understanding of the Te Ao Māori world view of the environment and water and to put Te Mana o te Wai into practice in the work we do.

We support and aspire to uphold Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

Wai is Wai Content

Technical Advice

As an organisation, we share knowledge and guidance on existing and emerging issues.

We work closely with regulators, member organisations, government and non-government organisations to help ensure best sustainable practice across the water sector, in particular the three waters – drinking, wastewater and stormwater.

This includes working with our membership to produce a range of technical guides and webinars. We also submit to Government on a wide range of legislation affecting the wider water environment.

You can see our submissions and guideline documents on our website. We ensure that members and the wider sector are kept up to date through our conferences, forums, opportunities to participate in special interest groups and that we cover relevant issues in publications. https://www.waternz.org.nz/tra...

Technical Documents

Technical Guides

Workforce Training

We know that we will need to attract more skilled people into the three waters sector. It has been estimated that an extra 5,800 to 9,300 additional FTE jobs by 2051 will be required to meet future needs.

The water sector is a highly complex area and we need skills to match.

Water New Zealand has been working hard to promote the competency and skills required for the future.

We want to see robust competency frameworks for roles so our members can identify the skills required to do the job, can see a career pathway and how to develop their professional learning. Five competency frameworks have been developed so far – Drinking Water Treatment Operator, Drinking Water Distribution Operator, Wastewater Treatment Operator, Wastewater Network Operator, and Small Water Suppliers.

As well, many of our members and member organisations have been taking part in our Digital Badges which gives a basic understanding of the Three Waters sector.

Training Calendar


Our conferences are proving to be record breakers which reflects the dynamic industry that we're working in. These conferences, and other events, provide a great opportunity for the water sector members to meet and share knowledge and expertise.

The Water New Zealand Conference and Expo, held every year, is one of the key events of the water sector calendar. Discussion is wide ranging - from water reform to innovative solutions and sharing and celebrating success.

Our Stormwater Conference and Expo takes place each May. In this conference, delegates and presenters discuss the latest solutions to address challenges such as climate change and extreme weather.

We also hold an annual Modelling Symposium which brings together modellers from all sectors of the water society. Our Backflow Conference, held once every two years, is a key event to help address challenges to maintaining healthy and safe water in the community.

In 2025 we will co-host, with the IWA (International Water Association), the 10th IWA ASPIRE Conference in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland. The IWA ASPIRE Conference will be held in conjunction with the Water New Zealand Conference and Expo. This will provide an exciting opportunity for overseas delegates and exhibitors to meet with and share experiences with New Zealand delegates and exhibitors.

Upcoming Events
15 May


Stormwater Conference 2024

Draft Programme Out Now!

25 Sep


Water New Zealand Conference & Expo 2024

25 - 27 September 2024


The range of critical water issues facing our sector means it is important to network and build effective relationships with central government officials and regulatory agencies. Water infrastructure represents many billions of dollars of assets and added value to the New Zealand economy. That's why we have a strong focus on relationships across the sector - with our members, Government and regulatory decision-makers and other industry bodies including overseas. We provide opportunities for members to engage with government and other key stakeholders.

We present at conferences, meetings and Select Committees. We produce documents, webinars, articles and training courses to promote the understanding of the water sector amongst the wider community. We also produce a fortnightly electronic newsletter, Pipeline, to keep members and the wider sector up to date with latest news and events as well as a podcast series, Tāwara o te Wai which discusses some of the challenges and opportunities in the water environment.

Our flagship publication, Water, is published five times a year in glossy print format as well as digitally. This covers key current issues facing the water sector. Water also provides an important opportunity for business to get products and services in front of a targeted audience while Pipeline provides some advertising opportunities and is a good way of getting your job vacancies read by a targeted audience.

If you are interested in finding out more about these opportunities contact our Advertising Manager: Debbie Laing.