Dedicated watchdog for water quality

The Government has approved a dedicated watchdog and new water regulations to ensure kiwis receive clean and safe drinking water. The new regulations will also help clean up New Zealand’s wastewater and stormwater systems.

“The Government has reached a critical milestone in drinking water safety and protecting the environment by moving to overhaul this country’s water regulations,” says Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta, who is leading the Three Waters Review alongside Minister of Health David Clark and Minister for the Environment David Parker.

David Clark, who has spearheaded the Government’s response to the Havelock North Campylobacter outbreak in 2016 where 5,000 people got sick from their drinking water, says public safety is a non-negotiable priority.

“Access to safe, clean drinking water is a birth-right for New Zealanders and a key concern for communities up and down the country. Wherever they live, consumers and communities expect to be able to turn on the tap and drink the water without fear of getting ill.”

“Immediately following the Havelock North Inquiry Stage 2 Report we began implementing its recommendations to increase public safety while the Three Waters review worked through the longer-term programme of reform options.”

“In line with one of the Inquiry’s key recommendations, Cabinet has now agreed to establish a dedicated water regulator who will ensure New Zealanders can have confidence their drinking water is demonstrably safe,” says Dr Clark.

Further information on the Three Waters Review is available here