Ko wai mātau,
Who we are

Taumata Arowai is the water services regulator for Aotearoa

We're a Crown entity with a Ministerial-appointed board. Alongside the independent board is a Māori Advisory Group, Te Puna.

Our vision

Tiakina te wai, hei oranga te katoa
Safe water every day for everyone

Our identity

Our name Taumata Arowai was gifted to us by Hon Nanaia Mahuta, Minister of Local Government.

The name creates an identity for Taumata Arowai. Taumata is used to refer to a summit or gathering of people coming together around an important area of focus. This speaks to the importance of our kaupapa , the bringing together of people to reach a shared goal, and the weight and responsibility to our role as a regulator.

Taumata for us also conveys a high point in the landscape, a peak or stepping stone to a higher place. This speaks to our ambitions for the water services sector improving, over time, with our support, influence, accountability, leadership and protection.

Arowai speaks to the attention to be in the presence of wai. It conveys our focus on wai as a taonga, and our focus to put wai mauri, wai mana and wai ora at the centre of everything we do.

Where we have come from

The establishment of Taumata Arowai is one of three pou, pillars, of the Government’s 2020 Three Waters Reform programme (the other pou are regulatory and service delivery reform). A dedicated water services regulator will be essential to provide safe and reliable drinking water and improved delivery of waste and storm water.

Taumata Arowai is born out of Te Mana o te Wai – working in service of and framed by it as the korowai for structural and system reform.

The establishment of an independent water regulator was also born out of historical incidents like that of Havelock North and others. As a consequence we have the enactment of Taumata Arowai – the Water Services Regulator Act 2020 and the need for regulatory oversight to lift the performance of the system that delivers for three waters.

Our place in the landscape

Taumata Arowai recognises that it cannot and does not work alone when it comes to wai. Taumata Arowai must always work in partnership, taking its lead from Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

We will work collaboratively across Aotearoa including with whānau, hapū and iwi Māori, Crown entities (such as the Ministry for the Environment, Ministry of Health and Department of Internal Affairs), public health units (PHUs) along with regional, city and district councils, drinking water suppliers, water management companies and all people of Aotearoa.

Together, we will work with, regulate and influence the water services sector to help improve outcomes for public health (access to safe drinking water), the environment (land, rivers and coasts) and for the three waters (drinking water, wastewater and stormwater).

Diagram of the water system of Aotearoa