Mō ngā kaiwhakarato wai,
For water suppliers

Taumata Arowai will become the new water services regulator, once the Water Services Act 2021 comes into effect, which is expected to be November 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).

Drinking water suppliers

The Water Services Act 2021 is expected to come into effect November 2021, apart from a small number of provisions that will commence later (including provisions relating to wastewater, stormwater, and exemptions from the need to use residual disinfection as part of a reticulated drinking water supply).

If you own or operate a water supply (that you know, or ought reasonably to know) is being used as drinking water by people outside of your own home, you are a drinking water supplier and will have responsibilities under the Water Services Act 2021.

Water carriers who transport drinking water for consumption are also drinking water suppliers.

The Act doesn’t apply to bottled water that is manufactured and sold by a food business or water that is used for purposes regulated under the Food Act 2014, the Animal Products Act 1999, or the Wine Act 2003. 

Registered supplies
Once the Water Services Act 2021 comes into effect, expected to be November 2021 (apart from a small number of provisions that will commence later), all drinking water supplies that had been registered with the Ministry of Health immediately prior to that date will become registered supplies (for the purposes of the Act). Owners and operators of drinking water supplies will have responsibilities to comply with under the new legislation.

Unregistered supplies
There are many smaller drinking water supplies that did not need to register with the Ministry of Health under the Health Act requirements for drinking water. These supplies will eventually need to be registered under the Water Services Act, however will have time to meet all the compliance requirements.

If you own an unregistered water carrier service, you must register your service by November 2022.

If you own an unregistered drinking water supply, that isn’t a water carrier service, you must register your supply by November 2025, and will have further time to meet all the compliance requirements. The intention is that all drinking water supplies will fully comply with new requirements by the end of 2028, including the need to provide a drinking water safety plan to Taumata Arowai or alternatively to comply with a drinking water Acceptable Solution.

Supplier responsibilities

Unregistered supplies
Drinking water suppliers have a duty to ensure the drinking water they supply is safe. It is important that drinking water won’t cause a serious risk of death, illness, or injury immediately or over time. If you are given a direction or compliance order by Taumata Arowai you must comply with it. These duties are expected to apply from November 2021.

Many other responsibilities under the Act don’t apply until your drinking water supply is registered and you have provided a drinking water safety plan to Taumata Arowai or alternatively complied with a drinking water Acceptable Solution.

All drinking water supplies must be registered by November 2025. Our initial focus is on the migration of information about drinking water suppliers already registered with the Ministry of Health.

You will be able to find more information about how to register your drinking water supply on our website, which will be updated regularly.

Registered supplies
If your drinking water supply was registered with the Ministry of Health immediately prior to November 2021, you will have responsibilities under the Water Services Act 2021.

Taumata Arowai will be contacting registered suppliers to advise how to update registration details in Hinekōrako - our new self-service web portal for drinking water suppliers and laboratories. If you haven’t heard from us, you can send an email to info@taumataarowai.govt.nz with your contact information, the name of your supply and its location.

Your responsibilities will include:

  • Ensuring the drinking water you supply is safe
  • Ensuring the drinking water you supply complies with the Drinking-Water Standards for New Zealand
  • Annually updating your registration details 
  • Proving a sufficient quantity of drinking water to meet the ordinary drinking water needs of consumers who use your supply
  • Drinking water safety planning
  • Taking action to resolve any risks to drinking water safety or quantity. This includes keeping consumers informed
  • Notifying Taumata Arowai in specified circumstances.  This includes when you have, or may have, supplied drinking water that is unsafe or that doesn’t comply with the Drinking-Water Standards for New Zealand