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Water Services Regulator Bill Taumata Arowai - a critical step to drinking water safety


11 December 2019

Water New Zealand has welcomed the introduction of the long-awaited legislation to establish a new drinking water regulator, Taumata Arowai.

Chief Executive John Pfahlert says the new regulator will be a major step towards ensuring all New Zealanders get access to safe drinking water.

“It is now more than three years since the Havelock North contamination outbreak revealed the systemic failure of the country’s drinking water system.

“This legislation, which establishes the regulator as a new independent Crown entity, clearly sets out to address all the key concerns raised in the subsequent inquiry into the campylobacter outbreak.

“We are particularly pleased that Taumata Arowai will be a standalone Crown entity as this will ensure that it has the independence and ability to focus on the important task of ensuring that all drinking water suppliers, apart from individual households, provide safe drinking water across New Zealand.

As well as drinking water, the new regulator will also play an important role in helping improve the performance of waste and stormwater discharges.

A second complementary Bill setting out the duties of water suppliers is due to be introduced into Parliament early next year.

“We look forward to further opportunities for input into both pieces of legislation as they pass through the Parliamentary process in 2020.”