Mō ngā kaiwhakarato wai
For water suppliers

We're designing and building a new water services regulator. Taumata Arowai and the Ministry of Health are working together to ensure a smooth handover of the regulatory administration in the second half of 2021.

The current regulator of drinking water

If you supply drinking water, the Ministry of Health is the current regulator of drinking water.

Safe drinking water information – Ministry of Health website

If you need to speak with someone regarding your drinking water supplies, contact your drinking water assessor at your local Public Health Unit (PHU).

When Taumata Arowai is the regulator of drinking water

When the Water Services Bill is passed and Taumata Arowai takes over as the water services regulator (in the second half of 2021), registered drinking water suppliers will not have to do significantly more than they do now. Suppliers will still need drinking water safety plans – water safety planning will remain an essential step in understanding and managing the risks from supplying drinking water.

Suppliers who provide drinking water for 500 or more people must have a drinking water safety plan in place by the end of the first year that Taumata Arowai becomes the regulator.

All other suppliers have up to the end of year 5 (2026) to complete drinking water safety plans that comply with the new requirements.

Plans will not be approved by Taumata Arowai – suppliers are responsible for making sure their plans are effective and fully implemented. We will guide suppliers in preparing their water safety plans, and review and monitor them according to scale, complexity and risk. 

Drinking water standards (the maximum acceptable values) will continue to be based on standards set by the World Health Organization (WHO). While we anticipate some changes, for example, to the way the requirements are structured and how compliance is demonstrated, these standards will not be significantly different to the current requirements.

Understanding the proposed new drinking water standards and rules

The Water Services Bill proposes that Taumata Arowai will have the authority to prepare standards and rules that water suppliers must comply with. Our initial working drafts, or exposure drafts, are as follows:

We're currently working on updating these drafts and will provide new versions to consult on later in the year.

We're also preparing guidance to support the operational compliance rules and this material will be available when we consult on the rules.