Speaking to the Water Summit in Wellington today, local government minister Nanaia Mahuta said a "step change" was needed.
"This is the conversation that we need everyone to be thinking about, because the Havelock North report says things need to change," Ms Mahuta said.
The Havelock North inquiry, which reported back six months ago, found nearly 800,000 New Zealanders were drinking water that was "not demonstrably safe".
The inquiry made 51 recommendations, including streamlining the number of water suppliers.
A separate 'Three Waters Review' by the Department of Internal Affairs found drinking water, wastewater and stormwater services were "inconsistent and patchy". Read more