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

Kia tiakina te wai, hei oranga mo te katoa
Safe water every day for everyone

Our name and identity

Taumata refers to a summit or gathering of people coming together around an important area of focus. Our focus is on improving the performance of the water services sector over time. 

Arowai 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. 

Our story

Incidents like the Havelock North drinking water contamination event in 2016, demonstrated the need for a dedicated water services regulator. This led to the government establishing Taumata Arowai on 1 March 2021. 

We took over from the Ministry of Health | Manatū Hauora as the drinking water regulator on 15 November 2021. From 4 October 2023, we took on wider responsibilities for the environmental performance of public wastewater and stormwater networks, extending our role to the full range of water services.

Our place in the landscape

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

We work collaboratively across Aotearoa with: 

  • whānau, hapū and iwi Māori
  • Crown entities, such as the Ministry for the Environment, Ministry of Health, Department of Internal Affairs and the Commerce Commission
  • public health units (PHUs) 
  • regional, city and district councils, drinking water suppliers, water management companies 
  • all people in Aotearoa. 

Together, we work with, regulate, and influence the water services sector to help improve outcomes for the health of the water, people and environment.

Diagram of the water regulatory system in Aotearoa