Revised drinking-water safety plan guidance material – “Handbook for Preparing a Water Safety Plan"

3 May 2019

A drinking-water Water Safety Plan is essential to the good management of a drinking-water supply. The Health Act 1956 requires certain drinking-water suppliers to have and implement a “Water Safety Plan” (WSP). Whilst the Act describes the statutory requirements for a drinking-water water safety plan and incorporates the principles of public health risk management in those requirements, new guidance around planning drinking-water safety and managing health risks will align drinking-water water safety plans more closely with international best practice.

In December 2018, the Ministry of Health released the “Drinking-Water Safety Plan Framework (WSP Framework)” which outlines what the Ministry of Health expects drinking-water suppliers to include in their water safety plans.
In support of the ‘Water Safety Plan Framework’ the Ministry of Health has released the next guidance tool to aid in the development of water safety plan’s the “Handbook for Preparing a Water Safety Plan”. For each of the core water safety plan components listed within the framework, the ‘Handbook’ sets out what the WSP should contain and what the water supplier needs to do to prepare the content of that frameworks development.
The development of the ‘Handbook’ has been completed and has been published on the Ministry’s website at:
The Government Inquiry into Havelock North Drinking Water. 2017. Report of the Havelock North Drinking Water Inquiry: Stage 2 (Stage 2 Report)made a number of recommendations in relation to drinking-water safety planning.The Ministry of Health commissioned drinking-water experts in the Institute of Environmental Science and Research Ltd, supported by Dr Heather Uwins-England (former Director, Water Supply Regulation, Office of the Water Supply Regulator Queensland), and Matt Parkinson (Director, Wai Comply) to review and revise the Ministry’s WSP Framework and supporting guides and templates.

If you have any question please feel free to contact"

Karen Beirne
Team Leader, Drinking Water, Environmental and Border Health, Public Health, Population Health and Prevention
Ministry of Health
DDI: 04 816 4487
Fax: 04 495 4401