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News

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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.


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Deep dive on plastics

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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New regulatory reporting will improve transparency and drinking water safety

Water New Zealand says the new water services regulator’s first report on drinking water compliance is a big step towards better transparency and safety improvements in the sector.

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Reinsurers questioning exposure

Fresh from meeting with international reinsurers, Tower CEO Blair Turnbull says they are "questioning whether they want to be down under."

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Call on Christchurch water fluoridation by end of the year

Christchurch will hear the Government’s intentions on fluoridating the city’s water supply by the end of the year.

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Drought assistance to Kiribati as drinking water supplies dry up

Threats to the drinking water supplies of Kiribati from a prolonged drought are being targeted with a joint assistance package from Aotearoa New Zealand and Australia.

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Tenant ordered to pay damages after wet wipes clog water pump

A tenant has been ordered to pay a series of costs after wet wipes clogged a water pump at her rental.

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Wellington Water independent fluoride inquiry

Wellington Water has accepted all of the recommendations from the independent inquiry into why fluoride facilities were turned off at two plants.


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Dunedin hospital could be elevated for flood risks

The new Dunedin Hospital could be built up to 2m above street level to account for flood threats, including storm surge and sea level rise.

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Nitrate risk to unborn babies to be measured in $1.2 million study of drinking water

Scientists seeking to determine whether nitrates in drinking water have an impact on unborn babies have received $1.2 million to undertake a study of 700,000 births in New Zealand.

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Need to do more to reduce plastic pollution in water

New Zealanders are amongst the highest generators of plastic waste in the world and on top of this there is now concern about the level of microplastics in our water.

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Economic regulation - challenges and opportunities

The chief executive of the Water Industry Commission for Scotland, Alan Sutherland joined a panel discussion chaired by Water New Zealand chief executive Gillian Blythe on the challenges and opportunities of economic regulation for water services in Aotearoa New Zealand.



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Dannevirke residents warned against flushing wet wipes

Dannevirke’s sewers are feeling the strain with residents being warned against flushing non-biodegradeables down their loos.

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Group aims to improve water quality

The Southland Regional Forum is set to deliver its recommendations on ways to drastically improve freshwater in Southland.

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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.