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Major milestone towards safer drinking water


24 July 2020

Water New Zealand welcomes the passing today of the Taumata Arowai – the Water Services Regulator Bill.

Chief executive Gillian Blythe says this is a big step towards ensuring safe drinking water for all New Zealanders and visitors.

“It’s now been four years since the Havelock North contamination crisis revealed the systemic failings in the regulation and delivery of drinking water in this country.

“The new regulatory body, Taumata Arowai will provide much-needed regulatory oversight to help ensure that all publicly supplied water is safe to drink.

“We are looking forward to working with the new regulator to help meet its key objectives, particularly the protection and promotion of drinking water safety and related public health outcomes as well as building and maintaining capability among drinking water suppliers and the wider industry.

“Promoting public understanding of the issues facing the water sector will also be an increasingly important focus for both the regulator and the sector.

She says the association is also looking forward to the tabling in Parliament of the complementary legislation, the new Water Services Bill, as this will set out the details under which Taumata Arowai will operate.

“Those details will be vitally important to the many professionals who currently work in the sector and that’s why Water New Zealand will be ensuring that our members’ views and concerns are heard.”

As well as consulting with members and making submissions, Water New Zealand will be hosting a full day workshop ahead of its annual conference in September to give members the opportunity to talk directly to representatives from the new regulatory authority.