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News

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Narrowed Wairau River influencing aquifer recharge levels

New research suggests historic work to narrow the Wairau River could be contributing to declining levels in the recharge aquifer – one of Marlborough’s main water sources.

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Govt poaching council staff makes contributing to reforms harder - local govt group

Rural and provincial councils say a shortage of skilled staff is preventing them from meaningfully contributing to the raft of central government reforms.

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Rag monsters and fatbergs causing chaos in the Kaipara

Rag monsters and fatbergs are causing chaos for Kaipara District Council and costing ratepayers tens of thousands of dollars to clear up

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Reforms will provide scale for efficiency - Alan Sutherland

The chief executive of the Water Industry Commission for Scotland, Alan Sutherland says larger, professional organisations allow for increased skills and capital to attract investment.

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Water Services (Drinking Water Standards for New Zealand) Regulations 2022

New regulations on the maximum acceptable values (MAVs) for the concentration of determinands in drinking water are set to come into force on 14 November 2022.

All drinking water suppliers must ensure that the drinking water they supply complies with the standards which are based in part on the World Health Organization Guidelines.


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Aesthetic Values for Drinking Water

The drinking water regulator, Taumata Arowa has issued updated aesthetic values for drinking water

These Aesthetic Values replace the guideline values for aesthetic determinands specified in the Drinking-water Standards for New Zealand 2005 (Revised 2018).

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Water Bill passes first Reading

The Water Services Entities Bill which paves the way for the establishment of the four new regionally-based water entities passed its First Reading in Parliament yesterday.

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New Bill represents once-in-a-generation opportunity to tackle water infrastructure deficit

Water New Zealand is welcoming the introduction of new legislation aimed at improving water services and tackling the huge water infrastructure deficit.

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Council ‘gets out of the way’ of rainwater tank installation

Auckland Council plan changes will make it easier for households to install rainwater tanks by removing the costly and time-consuming consent process.

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Wetland exposure drafts released

The Ministry for the Environment (MfE) has released its exposure drafts of proposed changes to the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management 2020 (NPS-FM) and the Resource Management (National Environmental Standards for Freshwater) Regulations 2020 (NES-F).

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Female staff key to success of country’s critical infrastructure projects

Critical infrastructure projects across the three waters, civil, energy, and telecommunications sectors rare facing a severe staffing shortage and women are part of the answer.

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Rural water supplies report released

The report from the Rural Supplies Technical Working Group has just been released. The group was set up to look into the concerns over the implications of the reforms on mixed-use rural water supplies.

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Wellington pipe price shock expected to be echoed around the country

A shock 80% increase in the cost to address Wellington’s ageing pipes is expected to be echoed around the country as councils take stock of what replacements will cost in reality.

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Wide range of roles for iwi, hapu and whanau in water sector

Following the Water New Zealand Conference and Expo in Kirikiriroa Hamilton, Water New Zealand board member Troy Brockbank talked on Radio Waatea about the many opportunities and wide range of roles for iwi, hapu, and whanau in the water sector.

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We need to put a vital ingredient into the water – democracy

Wellington's Owhiro Bay water activist, Eugene Doyle, was one of the presenters at the Water New Zealand conference in Kirikiriroa Hamilton. He told the audience about the need for councils and utilities to genuinely work with local communities.

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Waters industry urged to help shape final detail of Three Waters reform

Water industry players have been urged to stay closely engaged with the legislative process for enabling the controversial Three Waters reforms, which will set up four big entities to run water services.

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Water conference focuses on reform challenges

A workshop focusing on the establishment of the four new water entities and the new regulatory changes kicks off the Water New Zealand Conference & Expo in Kirikiriroa Hamilton this morning.

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World first flushability standard big step towards preventing blockages

New Zealanders will now be able to identify products that are safe to flush following the publication of new Australian-New Zealand flushability standards.

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Land purchase to fix North Taranaki's water woes'

Old and private septic tanks seeping into waterways around Urenui and Onaero could be fixed sooner than expected after NPDC agreed to buy 41 hectares of land in the area to build a wastewater treatment plant

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Māori missing out on infrastructure

Prof Te Maire Tau, co-chair, Te Kura Taka Pini, Ngāi Tahu Freshwater Management, told an audience at the Water New Zealand Stormwater Conference in Ōtautahi Christchurch that Māori communities have been missing out on basic water infrastructure and this has been stymying economic development.

Professor Tau was one of the keynote speakers at the conference.

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Auckland library living roof sets sustainable example

In the largest example on a council-owned building, Auckland Council has installed a living ‘green roof’ featuring more than 2000 plants on top of the central Auckland Library.

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Local Govt Minister gives keynote address at Stormwater Conference

Local Government minister Nanaia Mahuta has taken a moment during a Christchurch speech to “dispel some mistruths” about the controversial three waters reforms she is leading.

Mahuta gave a keynote address and hosted a short Q&A at Water New Zealand’s Stormwater conference in Christchurch on Wednesday.

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Stormwater Conference tackles climate issues

Challenges around climate change, increased flooding and infrastructure affordability will be under the spotlight at a two-day Water New Zealand Stormwater Conference which gets underway this morning in Ōtautahi Christchurch (18-19 May).

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Finnish city taps sewers for energy in sprint for net zero

Famed for its medieval castle and lofty cathedral, Finland's oldest city is winning admirers for a less likely attraction as it strives to be one of the world's first carbon neutral cities by 2029 - a sewage treatment plant.

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Majority of Auckland rivers have high E coli levels, report finds

Over 80% of Auckland’s rivers have high levels of E coli, which could pose widespread human health risks, an expert says.

An annual Auckland Council report, covering the year 2020, tested for E coli, nitrates, metals and rainfall levels.

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'Pure sewer': Stressed Christchurch community lives under the eternal stench

Residents affected by the Christchurch wastewater plant stench have a chance to air their grievances at a meeting tonight at which the Mayor and some councillors are expected to attend.

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Global credit rating agency's assessment released

The Government has released the latest Standard & Poor's assessment of the proposed new water service entities along with the Cabinet papers related to the representation, governance and accountability arrangements of the new water service entities.


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Water Industry Professionals Association

The Water Industry Professionals Association’s (WIPA) management committee has agreed for the WIPA to undertake a brief pause while the Industry as a whole goes through a significant period of change.


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Co-governance: Time to get on with it?

The Government's been under pressure to explain what it means by co-governance in the wake of its water and health reforms.

But as former Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Chris Finlayson explains, the concept itself is nothing new.

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Māori cultural sites among most vulnerable to climate change, rising sea levels

Māori cultural sites will be among the most vulnerable to climate change and rising sea levels.

Of the almost 800 marae situated across Aotearoa, 80 percent are built on low-lying coastal land or flood-prone rivers. That means many Māori burial sites and plantations or food sources will be at risk.

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Bid to impress with water work

A beefed-up programme of infrastructure planning was designed to help make the Dunedin City Council a "standout" water entity and boost the city’s chances of attracting post-reform investment.

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Human waste entering Waitangi River from botched sewerage connection

For more than two years a Bay of Islands property has been flushing faeces into the Waitangi River upstream from the intake for Paihia's town water supply.

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Megadroughts - how LA is transforming water use

Water restrictions imposed on residents are likely just the first of many measures cities will need to take in order to adapt to shrinking water supplies.

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Groundwater: the many challenges of a hidden resource

UNESCO in cooperation with UN-Water is organising a global summit on groundwater in December to raise awareness and help decisionmakers to manage this complex, invisible an often over-exploited resource.


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Another step towards addressing water infrastructure challenge

The Government’s response to the Three Waters Working Group on Representation, Governance and Accountability is another step towards addressing the serious infrastructure deficit challenge facing the water sector.

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String of Wellington Water budget requests total $35 million

A new funding request from Wellington Water is the latest in a string of budget increases over the past two months, which total $35 million.

The new request is for an additional $12.6m over the next two years, to fund escalating maintenance problems like pipes bursting.

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Billions of dollars needed to replace ageing asbestos pipes

Water New Zealand says there are thousands of kilometres of asbestos water pipes throughout New Zealand and replacing them will cost billions of dollars.


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New wastewater treatment plant for Wellington

A new waste treatment plant, which will dramatically reduce volumes of sludge being disposed of at Wellington’s Southern Landfill, is expected to be funded through new ratepayer levies.

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Three Waters: Maria Nepia - the wahine adding the Māori magic

Maria Nepia is the wahine who will ensure Māori voices will be seen and heard when the Three Waters reforms are completed and the legislation becomes law.

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Wellington to introduce new performance indicators

Greater Wellington Regional Council will introduce a new key performance indicator for drinking water, following revelations fluoride was switched off without anyone knowing.

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Poor drinking water safety findings reflect long term lack of investment

The latest findings that one in five New Zealanders are supplied with water that is not knowingly safe to drink reflects a legacy of under investment in water infrastructure and the water workforce.

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Over a million Kiwis don't have safe drinking water

The 2020/21 drinking water report details compliance by all providers with drinking water standards.

It reveals that just 78% of the population - 3.2 million people - received drinking water that met all Health Ministry standards.

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Mackenzie's water use dramatically higher than most districts

The latest report card on New Zealand’s water has been released, with the Mackenzie district standing out for all the wrong reasons.

Mackenzie’s average daily residential water use is far and away the highest of the 40 councils that provided information to Water New Zealand’s National Performance Review 2020 – 2021.

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Christchurch infrastructure design makes fluoridation 'cost significantly more

Water New Zealand chief executive Gillian Blythe said the number of pump stations in Christchurch meant fluoridation would be “more resource-intensive” than elsewhere.

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Three Waters rhetoric damages council-iwi relations

A first, fragile attempt at Māori co-governance is tearing apart, as Ngāi Tahu threatens to walk away from its partnership with three of the South Island's biggest councils.

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Can we flood-proof our homes?

Forget about putting bigger pipes underground to stop a repeat of the damaging flash flooding that hit Auckland last week.

In most cases, it wouldn’t have made a difference, says flood expert Jon Rix, the head of the water engineering team at environmental and engineering consultancy Tonkin + Taylor.

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Springfield residents told to 'sit and wait' for fresh water supply one year on

"Our existing water supplies are facing a variety of pressures at the moment. Climate change is one of them ... we know that the West Coast is going to get wetter.... population growth is another pressure and ageing infrastructure is another." Lesley Smith, Water New Zealand

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Māori involvement in three waters governance is an opportunity to share knowledge, culture and expertise

Ensuring clean, equitable, affordable water services for everyone, while protecting human health and the environment, should be bottom lines for all communities.

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High Court rules against council on water for dairy sheds

A new High Court judgment has confirmed that it was appropriate for the Environment Court to factor in potential contamination of groundwater from dairy sheds when considering the term of a water consent.