View archived news from previous years here

News

+
Second Tranche of Drinking Water and Wastewater Network Environmental Performance Measures

Taumata Arowai is consulting on the next phase of drinking water measures as well as the first set of wastewater measures.

+
New model shows increased earthquake shaking risks

The likelihood of future earthquake shaking hazard is estimated to have increased throughout most of the country, ranging from almost no change to more than doubling in some areas

The model, led by GNS Science, is used to estimate risk and help make risk-based decisions.

+
Whanganui water bottling plans slammed

A Whanganui iwi leader says a plan to extract and sell 750,000 litres a week of groundwater from a bore near the Whanganui River is stealing and confiscation.

Flower image
+
Citizens’ Assembly recommends direct recycled water for Auckland’s future water source

A citizens’ assembly tasked with deciding what should be Tāmaki Makaurau’s next future water source has determined direct recycled water would be the best solution to meet the city’s water needs beyond 2040.

Water drop on grass
+
Eight Iwi and Three Councils’ Partnership Responds to Te Mana o Te Wai in Te Tauihu

Environmental managers from eight Te Tauihu iwi, in co-design with three unitary councils and supported by Our Land and Water, have built a partnership to respond to Te Mana o Te Wai in Te Tauihu.

Water Image
+
Scientists release monitoring results for 1,727 river and lake sites across New Zealand

The health of monitored freshwater sites across New Zealand and how it is changing over time has been revealed by the Land, Air, Water Aotearoa (LAWA) project today.

Water Image
+
Three Waters on the boil as local elections approach

"I still sadly am of the view that a number of ratepayers do not really know what they're paying for their poor water service delivery," - Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta

Water on leaf
+
Can Wellington's underground urban streams once again see the light?

Beneath our feet is a hidden network of streams. Most have no better than a C grade for water quality.

Water Image
+
Wastewater suggested as next water source for Auckland

A diverse group of Aucklanders tasked with making recommendations around a new water source for the city has presented its findings, suggesting treating wastewater.

Tap Water
+
Revealed: the ‘shocking’ levels of toxic lead in Chicago tap water

Tests performed for thousands of Chicago residents found lead, a neurotoxin, in amounts far exceeding the federal standards.

Water Image
+
Waterfowl return as oxidation ponds recover

The new sludge treatment system at the Christchurch wastewater treatment plant is significantly improving the biological health of the oxidation ponds, reducing the odours and seeing waterfowl return.

+
Water Services Entity Establishment Boards

The Department of Internal Affairs, on behalf of the Minister of Local Government, is calling for expressions of interest for appointments to the four Water Services Entity establishment boards.

Water drop
+
Three Waters - Draining debates

Three Waters is the largest local government reform in decades. But in many minds, the rollout has been muddled and mired in controversy.

Water drop
+
How restoring NZ’s coastal wetlands could be key in the climate change fight

For many companies, forest carbon offsets have become a way to compensate the environment for the use of its resources.

+
Infrastructure strategy sets a course for the future

The Government has tabled its response to Te Waihanga/New Zealand Infrastructure Commission’s first infrastructure strategy.

Published in June, Rautaki Hanganga o Aotearoa – New Zealand Infrastructure Strategy 2022–2052 set out the infrastructure challenges and opportunities facing New Zealand over the next 30 years.

+
'Denitrification' just a pipe dream, or a reality for Waimate council?

Waimate District Council says it has “committed” to building a denitrification plant, but numbers crunched for other Canterbury councils suggest an expensive and complicated venture.

+
High nitrate in water warning for Pareora township

A warning is in place for the township of Pareora after recent testing of raw water showed high nitrates, with both nitrate-nitrogen and nitrate, exceeding maximum acceptable values

+
Key steps for finance to take to tackle the growing water crisis

Financial institutions must act now to boost water security and to protect themselves from the risks created by the water crisis.

+
Poo bug makes 80 percent of Taranaki rivers unswimmable

Ongoing contamination by a faecal bug has left just a fifth of Taranaki rivers clean enough to swim in, according to a new assessment for Taranaki Regional Council.

+
Porirua City Council moves forward with draft flood retreat policy

Porirua City Council is moving forward with its flood retreat policy, but how it will be financed is still uncertain.

+
Government urged not to delay vital water services reforms

Water New Zealand says it is important that the legislation paving the way for new water services entities is not delayed.

+
Private well water testing in Selwyn reveals dangerously high nitrate levels

Selwyn residents on private wells turned out in high numbers at a water testing day - with some found to have dangerously high levels of nitrates.

+
Ngāi Tahu argues for Three Waters co-governance in Parliament

Ngāi Tahu, the iwi whose takiwā takes in most of the South Island, made a spirited defence of co-governance on Three Waters reforms, pointing out that Māori assets have historically been seized by governments - including for use as council water infrastructure.

+
Bill Bayfield resigns as Chief Executive of Taumata Arowai

Taumata Arowai chief executive Bill Bayfield has announced his resignation from the new regulatory authority. His last day will be 27 January.


+
Relocation should be considered for flood-prone towns - environmental engineer

An environmental engineer who helped move an entire Australian town to higher ground after catastrophic flooding says if people are at risk of repeat weather events - then relocation should be on the table.

+
Water loss mystery prompts Ruapehu council to hunt for illegal takes, offer households $200 free plumbing

A district council is installing dozens of isolation valves across a water network to help solve the mystery of massive water losses.

+
Changes to freshwater management - Northland Regional Council

Sediment and E. coli are the two greatest threats to freshwater health throughout Northland as the deadline for implementing national policy directives to stop further degradation looms.

+
Plea to continue to conserve water in Nelson

Nelson has access to less than half its usual water supply, but there is enough safe drinking water if people stick to “normal usage”, the council says.


+
Outstanding Three Waters reform matters

In this opinion piece Mark Odlin, a partner at law firm Buddle Finlay and a specialist in corporate and commercial law with expertise in giving advice in a local government and freshwater context, argues there are critical matters that remain outstanding in the Three Waters reform.

+
Shovel Ready upgrade 'brings pump station into the 21st century'

A structural and telemetric upgrade of two pump stations in Paeroa is the first of Waikato Regional Council’s Shovel Ready infrastructure projects to be completed.

+
Fatberg alert: Wastewater system blockages cause overflows, temporary health warning issued

A temporary health warning has been put in place after sewage overspill flowed into the Mangakakahi Stream on Saturday.

It's prompted a reminder from the Rotorua Lakes Council not to put wet wipes, fat and rags down sinks drains and toilets.

+
New Plymouth begins installing water meters for 26,000 homes

New Plymouth has begun an $18 million project to roll out water meters to 26,000 homes in the district.

+
Westport community raise stormwater concerns in feedback on $54m flood plan

Westport residents have had their first opportunity to question experts about a potentially ground-breaking business case to ease severe flooding in the town over the next hundred years.

+
Managed retreat from flood-prone part of Whanganui recommended

Natural hazard experts are recommending a part of Whanganui be abandoned due to the ever-increasing risk of flooding, but exactly how landowners could be compensated is up in the air.

+
Emergency drinking water delivered as nitrate levels exceed acceptable levels in rural Waimate supply

Emergency drinking water supplies have been delivered to parts of the Waimate District as measured nitrate levels have risen past the Drinking Water Standards Maximum Acceptable Value (MAV).

+
Dam plan on life-support seeks next jolt

Consents for a controversial Hawke’s Bay dam are set to be extended without public input, angering environmentalists.

+
Auditor General questions WSE Bill accountability

The Auditor General has raised some concerns over the accountability arrangements and the integration of infrastructural planning in the proposed three waters entities legislation.


+
Deep dive on plastics

Last weekend, Wastebusters celebrated the end of Plastic Free July with sold-out movie screenings of For the Blue.

+
Christchurch wastewater treatment plant repairs ahead of schedule

The work to remove fire-damaged waste material and concrete from Christchurch's burnt out wastewater treatment plant will be finished a month earlier than expected.

+
The Mataura River: The tale of Southland's longest awa

Chris Dillon has no worries drinking his whiskey​ with a splash of water from the Mataura River.

+
NZ’s new climate crisis plan: ‘Blueprint for more resilient communities’

For the first time Aotearoa New Zealand has a long-term strategy to deal with the effects of climate change, but the government plan leaves several key questions unanswered.

+
Wellington facing water shortages

A report in Stuff says that the Wellington region is fast running out of water and “severe” water restrictions are “probable” over summer, Wellington Water has warned local councils in a stark report.

+
Pollution: 'Forever chemicals' in rainwater exceed safe levels

New research shows that rainwater in most locations on Earth contains levels of chemicals that "greatly exceed" safety levels.

+
Christchurch must 'do a lot more' to improve rivers, with nearly half in poor condition

The quality of Christchurch’s Ōpāwaho/Heathcote and Huritini-Halswell rivers remain poor and more needs to be done to start seeing improvements, the city council’s chief waterways ecologist says.

+
Showerhead giveaway to stop too much water going down the drain

Tauranga City Council is giving away water-efficient showerheads in hopes of cutting shower times in half.

+
New funding for water fluoridation

Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield has made directions under the Health Act to 14 local authorities to add fluoride to some or all of their water supplies. It is the first time this power has been used since the relevant legislation was amended last year to ensure a national approach to fluoridating water.

+
New drinking water quality assurance rules

Taumata Arowai have published new Drinking Water Quality Assurance Rules, which set out what drinking water suppliers need to do to comply with key parts of the Drinking Water Standards and other requirements under the Water Services Act 2021. 

The new Rules come into effect on 14 November 2022.

+
Public health experts speak out in support of reforms

As the deadline for submissions on the Water Services Entities Bill comes to a close today, a group of eminent public health professionals have published a joint blog in support of the Three Waters reforms, saying they are are needed to protect public health and ensure changes are economically sustainable and efficient.

+
The arguments that sank water bottling consents

Why did the Court of Appeal quash consents for water bottling? Newsroom's environment editor, South Island correspondent and investigative writer, David Williams delves into the decision.

+
Government provides Three Waters support for councils

Every Council in New Zealand will receive at least $350,000 of additional funding to ensure they have the resourcing necessary to implement the Three Waters reforms, Associate Minister of Local Government Kieran McAnulty announced today.