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News

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Toxic algae possibly widespread in Southland rivers

Environment Southland’s latest monitoring has found high levels of toxic algae at the Aparima River at Otautau.

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Council staff work to reduce stink from fire-damaged wastewater plant

City council staff are still working to reduce offensive smells coming from Christchurch’s fire-damaged wastewater treatment plant.

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The global war against plastics

An estimated 11 million metric tons of plastic enter our oceans each year. That’s a garbage truck and a half of plastic every minute of every day.

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Calls grow for rāhui to have greater legal recognition

A group representing 80 iwi is calling for greater legal recognition of rāhui, similar to Covid-19 restrictions, to prevent people from ignoring them.

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Govt seeks feedback on National Environmental Standard for Sources of Human Drinking Water

Associate Minister for the Environment Kiri Allan is urging all New Zealanders to give feedback on proposed changes aimed at making drinking water safer.

“The current regulations are not fit for purpose and don’t offer enough protection, particularly for those whose water comes from smaller supplies,” Kiri Allan said.

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Palmerston North gears up for $496m wastewater upgrade

Palmerston North is gearing up to have the most modern wastewater treatment system in New Zealand.

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Climate emergency - water sector needs to be part of the solution

Emissions reduction needs to be a critical part of the Three Waters future.

Water NZ CEO Gillian Blythe says that while mitigation and adaptation to climate change is vital, the reforms provide a much-needed opportunity to pave the way for real action to reduce emissions.

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Government offers concessions to councils in Three Waters reforms

The Government has offered major concessions in water reforms, that will make new water corporations accountable to even the smallest councils.

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Stay safe and check your drinking water supply

Don’t spoil your holidays through water borne illnesses.

Water New Zealand chief executive Gillian Blythe says many people under-estimate the risks of drinking potentially contaminated water in holiday destinations.

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Close to 60 people hospitalised from 2016 Havelock North gastro outbreak, study finds

More people than previously reported were hospitalised as a result of the 2016 campylobacter outbreak in Havelock North, a new study has found.

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Waitarere Beach off limits due to stinky stormwater

Horizons Regional Council environmental monitoring scientist Kelly Le Quesne said the situation has highlighted the need to ensure all public no-swimming notices were widely and promptly circulated.

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Extreme weather event project

Thanks to funding from MBIE, researchers from five organisations — MetService, Niwa, Bodeker Scientific, Victoria University of Wellington and the University of Canterbury — have begun a New Zealand project called Extreme Weather Event Real-time Attribution Machine (EWERAM).

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Bad smells from Christchurch's fire-ravaged wastewater plant to continue for years

Bad smells reminiscent of the 1970s and 80s will continue seeping out of Christchurch’s fire-damaged wastewater treatment plant for years to come, the city council says.

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E-Clean bioreactor could hold answer to clean waterways

A low-cost water filtration system that uses a collection of bacteria to remove nitrates, phosphates and E. coli may be the answer to cleaning up our lakes and rivers.

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New Zealand tops new study testing for designer drugs in wastewater

New Zealand has topped an international study of traces of illegal designer drugs in wastewater during last year's peak summer holiday period break.

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Time for NZ to act on ‘forever chemicals’

There's another public health emergency and it revolves around 'forever chemicals' found in many things commonly used in everyday life and linked to serious health concerns, writes Lokesh Padhye of the University of Auckland

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Community groups gather data to revitalise Waimatā River

The Waimatā Catchment Group, research teams and community members discussed ideas on revitalising the Waimatā River.

Two community hui were held earlier this year and themes such as mātauranga-based projects (Māori knowledge), education, stopping river pollutants, planting and pest control were recognised as areas that needed to be worked on.

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Climate change made flooding in Canterbury more severe - researchers

Researchers studying the effects of climate change on severe weather events in New Zealand have found that the extreme rainfall that brought flooding to Canterbury in May was 10 to 15 per cent more intense as a result of human influence on the climate system.

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Pathway to reducing greenhouse gas emissions in water

Water New Zealand is launching a new guide that it hopes will provide a clear pathway for the water sector to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

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Mauri model decisionmaking framework

Mihi mai ki a Dr Te Kīpa Kēpa Morgan, a professional engineer, who’s inspiring a different value system that he says can help humanity thrive and safeguard the sustainability of our planet.

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Christchurch's water could still be chlorinated even with an exemption

Chlorine could still remain in Christchurch’s water supply even if the city manages to gain an exemption from a new law mandating the disinfectant.

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Forum behind efforts to clean up Manawatū River nets river health award

A decade-long mission to clean up one of New Zealand’s sickest waterways has led to top honours.

The Manawatū River Leaders' Forum won the supreme award for catchment with most progress towards improved river health at the Cawthron New Zealand River Awards on Thursday.

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$6.9m cost increase for Lake Dunstan water scheme

Construction of the Lake Dunstan Water treatment plant and bore field is projected to cost $6.9 million more than originally forecast.

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Taumata Arowai to take a "phased in approach"

Taumata Arowai Chief Executive Bill Bayfield says the new regulator will work closely with the water sector to lift performance.

It will take a "phased-in approach, with focus in the first year on those suppliers currently registered with the Ministry of Health".

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New era in safer drinking water

Water New Zealand chief executive Gillian Blythe says the new water services regulator, Taumata Arowai, will play a crucial role in ensuring all New Zealanders have access to safe drinking water.

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Reforms provide opportunities for Matauranga Māori

One of the iwi representatives on the Three Waters working group says that the reform process provides an opportunity to improve water quality and council relationships through concepts such as Matauranga Māori.



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Working group to ensure local voice in Three Waters reform

Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced the establishment of a working group made up of local government and iwi representatives to recommend strengthened governance and accountability arrangements for the Three Waters Reform Programme.

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Health (Fluoridation of Drinking Water) Amendment Bill passes final reading in Parliament

A bill transferring control of water fluoridation from local councils to the director-general of health has passed its final reading in Parliament.

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Nitrate contamination may cause 40 NZ deaths a year - study

Up to 100 cases of bowel cancer, and 41 deaths, may be caused by nitrate-contaminated drinking water each year - with around 800,000 Kiwis exposed to levels that international studies deem a risk, new research finds.

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Homegrown poo-eating bugs that will make wastewater treatment greener

n the bowels of the Māngere Wastewater Treatment Plant, a team of engineers diligently grow small poo-eating organisms which will help pave the way to a greener future.

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Water New Zealand joins global call to tackle wastewater emissions

Water New Zealand has joined with industry bodies around the world in a call for more action from governments to tackle methane emissions from wastewater processing.

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Water industry joins forces in global call for investment to tackle process emissions

Water industry trade bodies around the world have joined forces in a call for investment to tackle the emissions associated with processing wastewater.

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Minister explains water reforms

After "two decades of kicking the can down the road", the Government is proposing a quantum shift in the way water services are to be delivered.

Local Government Minister, Nanaia Mahuta told RNZ's Kathryn Ryan why the Government has decided to embark on the Three Waters reforms.

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How producing milk turned a lake bright orange

In the latest in the series of This is How it Ends, Stuff focuses on how intensive agriculture, fertilisers and nitrates as well as poor storm and wastewater infrastructure is destroying the health of our lakes and waterways.

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Proposal will unlock barriers to address water infrastructure deficit

Water New Zealand says the establishment of four professional entities to manage three waters will unlock many of the barriers that have led to the serious infrastructure deficit across much of the country.

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This Is How It Ends: 'We take staggering amounts from our waterways'

Braided rivers are a defining feature of the Canterbury landscape. But they are polluted, drained, and drying out, leaving the banks of one littered with the corpses and skeletons of endangered native fish. Andrea Vance and Iain McGregor investigate for Stuff’s This Is How It Ends series.

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Environment Southland won't yet release monitoring report on Tiwai Point

Environment Southland won’t yet release the latest report on the Tiwai Point smelter, but an earlier report found 83 per cent of groundwater samples exceeded guidelines within the New Zealand Drinking Water Standards and Environment Southland groundwater rules.

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Constructed wetland documentary released

Whakaora Te Ahuriri - A Wetland for Te Waihora has been shown for the first time at the International Wetlands Conference (Intecol).

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Coastal flooding 'likely to be main driver for adaptation'

New NIWA-led research shows increasing flood risk is going to be what leads people to make changes to adapt to sea-level rise.

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Exhibition celebrates the Ngāi Tahu relationship with wetlands

Precious taonga that were used by Māori to fish and catch whitebait are on display as part of an exhibition celebrating the relationship Ngāi Tahu has with wetlands.

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Mayors discuss reform challenges

Several mayors from around the country have spoken about the challenges Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta faces in getting local councillors' support for the Three Waters reforms.

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Changes to status quo required

Addressing the huge deficit in water investment while ensuring that there is adequate community voice to future water services are key issues facing the government as it reviews the councils' responses to its reform proposals. Water NZ CEO Gillian Blythe discusses the next steps on Magic Talk radio.

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Putting water into four entities

Water New Zealand chief executive Gillian Blythe talks to NewstalkZB's Mike Hosking about how we can improve water services, whilst remaining affordable and giving customers and ratepayers confidence their voice will be heard.


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D-Day for councils to respond to three waters plan

Friday was D-day for councils to consider the government's Three Waters proposal and to give their feedback.

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Bill to transform drinking water safety passes

The Government today passed legislation that it says will transform drinking water safety and improve environmental outcomes for wastewater and stormwater networks.

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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.