Chief Executive of Water New Zealand John Pfahlert said a stand-alone regulator would provide an enduring focus on drinking water safety, rather than having that function delivered by an agency with a raft of other conflicting objectives.
“Having an organisational structure focussed on drinking water will ensure drinking water safety is prioritised and resources are dedicated to the task” said Mr Pfahlert.
Water New Zealand is particularly heartened to see that the new organisation will be technically focussed with the objective of appointing high calibre regulatory experts to senior positions in the organisation. He said that would ensure the regulatory had the necessary skills to work co-operatively with water suppliers at a technical level, rather than just being an enforcement agency.
Mr Pfahlert said that it was excellent to see a Maori Advisory Group will be established to advise the regulator on and to uphold Te Mana o te Wai, and how to enable matauranga Maori and kaitiakitanga to be exercised.
Also, a technical advisory group to advise the regulator on scientific and technical matters more generally was a necessary support to the regulator, he said.
The Association said it was looking forward to working with both Ministers and officials during the passage of the proposed Crown Entity (Water Services) Establishment Bill.
For further comment: Jim Graham 027 231 3445 (Principal Advisor Water Quality) or John Pfahlert (Chief Executive) 021 150 9763