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News

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Letter to Minister Mahuta from Water New Zealand, IPWEA NZ and ACE in relation to the three waters reform

A joint letter from Water New Zealand, Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia – New Zealand and Association of Consulting and Engineering to Minister Mahuta expressing our continued support for investment in the three waters and the high level and shared objectives which the Government and Local Government New Zealand agree underpin the Three Waters Reform Programme.

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We're 10,000 miles apart, but on water we're closer than we think

The chief executive of the Water Industry Commission for Scotland (WICS), Alan Sutherland, explains how economic and water quality regulation along with structural reform, has benefitted Scotland.

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Water Services Bill passes second reading

The legislation that will allow Taumata Arowai to administer the regulatory framework for water services has passed its second reading in Parliament.

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Water New Zealand Conference & Expo 2021 - Further postponement

Due to COVID-19 we have further postponed our conference until Tuesday 7 to Thursday 9 December 2021 with the Taumata Arowai and Department of Internal Affairs pre-conference workshop on Monday 6 December.

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Palmerston North moves to lessen wastewater discharge to Manawatū River

Palmerston North City Council has decided to pursue an option that includes a combination of river and land disposal for future discharge of the city's wastewater.

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Wellington Water committee considers 30-year plan

The chair of the Wellington Water Committee, Lower Hutt Mayor Campbell Barry, said there is alignment across the six shareholding councils of Wellington Water on what needs to be done to meet the region’s challenges in water services over the next 30 years.

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Mahuta says opposition to Three Waters reform is 'curious'

Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta has defended the Three Waters reform saying the reforms will allow for jobs in local communities as well as provide for growth and greater cost-efficiency.

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Māori Language Week 2021 – Ngā momo Kaimahi Whakapai Wai

Waiora Aotearoa (Water New Zealand) is proud to once again tautoko (to support) Te Wiki o te Reo Māori (Māori Language Week), 13-19 Mahuru (September) 2021. We’ve produced a poster to encourage you to learn your te Reo Māori job title in support of Māori Language Week 2021.

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Water Services Bill SOP released

The Government has released a Supplementary Order Paper for the Water Services Bill.

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Covid 19 coronavirus: ESR study confirms the power of wastewater testing

A new ESR-led study suggests regular wastewater testing for Covid-19 – now being done across the country to guide our Delta outbreak response – could prove a nifty early warning system to pick up future flare-ups.

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New Flushability Standard to help reduce blockages caused by wipes

New draft standards aimed at reducing the costs and environmental damage caused by wet wipes have just been released.

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Water New Zealand Conference & Expo 2021 - Conference Postponed

New dates announced for the Water New Zealand Conference & Expo 2021

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Water New Zealand Conference & Expo 2021

We look forward to bringing you a safe face to face experience in Hamilton. However, in order for gatherings of more than 100 to take place, New Zealand will need to be at Alert Level 1.

We are monitoring the Government’s announcements and will be in a position to provide an update of our specific plans by Tuesday 31 August.

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Auckland's juggling act to supply water

A look at options for Auckland water supply in light of forecast drier conditions.


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Split views on Water Services Bill

Rural groups are at odds over the merits of new rules to improve drinking water quality.

Federated Farmers says the Water Services Bill is a bureaucratic box-ticking process, while IrrigationNZ is welcoming the reforms.

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Watercare reveals contaminant dumping data

Scores of Auckland companies have been caught dumping contaminants down the drain, but none have been fined or prosecuted, Watercare data shows.

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Five Defence bases fail safe water standards

Water supplies at five army and air force bases have failed basic safety standards, the Ministry of Health reports.

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Collective effort needed to restore Te mana o te Wai

Members of Kahui Wai Māori, the Māori Freshwater Forum, are on a tour encouraging regional councils to get behind efforts to clean up the nation’s waterways.

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Why the government's muscling in on the water business

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern made sure to nail that point home at the Local Government New Zealand conference this year in Blenheim, as she listed off all the country's water woes.

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Taumata Arowai cost recovery fees

DIA is seeking feedback on proposed cost recovery fees and charges for drinking water suppliers applying for exemptions from regulatory requirements and event organisers seeking temporary registration of a water supply for a planned event.

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Central Interceptor site opens for free public tours

Aucklanders will soon have the chance to see Hiwa-i-te-Rangi before she disappears completely, digging her way under the city to create Watercare’s $1.2 billion Central Interceptor wastewater tunnel from Māngere to Grey Lynn.

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New Zealand needs to get tough on lead in pipe fittings

Many plumbing products for sale in New Zealand contain unacceptably high levels of lead and the Government needs to toughen up on regulations.

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Big water decisions shape futures of small communities

The Prime Minister has committed to settling the contested boundaries of the four new regional water authorities by the end of September – and that means some big decisions for some of New Zealand's smallest communities.

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Three mayors on three waters: running hot or cold?

Mayors up and down the country remain divided over a proposed centralised water reform programme, with some concerned about being losers in the divvy up of assets, and others focused on the loss of local powers.

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Flood protection won't work in climate-changed environment

A climate change researcher says local and central government must stop allowing houses to be built in at-risk areas and we should no longer rely on flood protection infrastructure such as stopbanks to protect against climate change-induced major weather events.

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Natural state? Water purity measure corrected

The equation for measuring water purity has been corrected but a freshwater ecologist questions whether this adjustment is sufficient to prevent pollution. The official equation measuring the human impact on groundwater has been revised to better reflect levels of pollution.

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Government offers $2.5b sweetener to councils as it looks to take control of water infrastructure

The Government is putting a $2.5b sweetener on the table for councils as it moves to reform three waters infrastructure.

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Mike Joy wins battle over ‘dodgy’ water stats

Prominent freshwater ecologist wrings admissions from agencies about poor use of water statistics. Read the Newsroom story.

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Waikato's worrying nitrate levels

Nitrate levels in Waikato's groundwater are causing concerns among scientists asked to look at the levels in the region.

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Wellington Mayor at odds with his own taskforce on three waters

Wellington's mayor is yet to take a stance on the Government's three waters reform plan, prompting criticism from his colleagues that he is at odds with his own taskforce on the matter.

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Council's battle to remove chlorine 'like a game of tennis' with safety assessors

Hopes of a chlorine-free Christmas for some Christchurch residents may be dashed as health authorities have refused to sign off a plan detailing the safety of the city's water supply.

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Alarm over level of nanoplastic in marine environment

Alarming new microplastics research has sparked calls for better filters in household washing machines and water treatment plants.

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Disappointment over failure to phase out plastic wipes

“We wish the Government had heeded the strong public calls to phase out wet wipes containing plastic,” says Green Party spokesperson for waste, Eugenie Sage.

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Environmental groups team up to call for stricter water nitrate limit

Four major Kiwi environmental organisations have teamed up to push for the Government to set a strict nitrate pollution limit of less than 1 milligram per litre in New Zealand’s waterways.

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Fifty mayors speak out on water reforms

From the Far North to Invercargill, the country's leaders give their verdicts on what the $120b-plus water reforms mean for ratepayers.

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Water NZ CEO Gillian Blythe and Green MP Eugenie Sage talk 3 waters reform

Gillian Blythe and Eugenie Sage discuss the release of the Government's preferred models and information released to councils this week on 95BFM.


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Vital conversation needed on three waters future

Today’s release of the Government‘s three waters reform proposals provide central government, local government and their communities with the information needed for a vital conversation on the future of three waters (drinking, waste and stormwater).

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Get tough approach on plastics welcomed

Water New Zealand says it welcomes the Government’s tougher approach to plastics in the environment.

"It’s been estimated that pipe blockages caused by flushing wet wipes cost New Zealand ratepayers at least $16-million a year in unblocking pipes," says Water New Zealand chief executive Gillian Blythe.

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Safer drinking water key issue for New Zealanders

Water New Zealand says events such as the Havelock North contamination crisis and the frequent number of boil water notices in some parts of the country have led to drinking water becoming identified as our number one infrastructure issue.

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Used condoms, tampons being flushed onto Wellington beaches

Message to consumers - don't buy single-use plastics, but if you do, don't use the toilet to dispose of them.

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Concerns Wellington city construction projects will stall as workforce shortage hits 138%

Around the Wellington region over the next decade, councils are looking to invest several billion dollars in Three Waters alone, to upgrade its ageing and increasingly failing pipes. But now doubt is being thrown over the deliverability of big construction projects in the capital, where there is roughly a 140 percent shortfall in the number of construction workers.

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Three Waters reform the 'only solution' after Bay of Plenty leaders request hui

Sweeping changes poised to overhaul local government and water infrastructure in New Zealand have been deemed the "only solution" by a Bay of Plenty mayor, while another North Island leader describes it as "the end of local democracy as we know it".

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Nutrients in rivers - how much is too much?

New Zealand freshwater scientists have answered the question of how much nutrients should be permitted in our rivers to maintain ecosystem health.

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Shortage of workers risks infrastructure delivery

The Herald's senior Wellington journalist Georgina Campbell looks at how water service delivery is looking to be one of the next big challenges facing the water sector, due to a shortage of people working in the industry.

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Consultation (106513 & 106514) – New Joint Standards Australia and Standards New Zealand projects

The following joint standards development projects were recently approved by Standards Australia and may be of interest to your organisation.

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Decision on councils’ right to opt out of $120b water reforms

First councils were told they could 'opt in' to the merger of their three waters infrastructure, then that they would have to 'opt out'. Now the decision may be taken from their hands.

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Taumata Arowai Māori Advisory Group announced

The inaugural members of the Taumata Arowai Māori Advisory Group have been appointed by Minister Davis as Acting Minister of Local Government.

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$185b over 30 years: Report reveals overhaul needed for country's water network

A new report has found creating one to four providers is the most efficient way to overhaul management of New Zealand's three waters network.

The affordability challenge of tackling decades of underinvestment is eye-watering.

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Need for more water investment made clear

Water New Zealand says new evidence just released shows the extent of the challenges facing the three waters sector.

The Department of Internal Affairs has just released a series of reports which look at the need for reform and addresses some of the key issues raised during consultations with the sector.