If your drinking water supply was registered with the Ministry of Health immediately prior to 15 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 by early 2022, you can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org 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 current 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 current Drinking-water Standards for New Zealand.
Due diligence obligations if you work for a drinking water supplier
Drinking water suppliers have a duty of care to provide safe drinking water to consumers.
Everyone who works for a drinking water supplier needs to apply due diligence to make sure the supplier meets this and other obligations. This applies to people who are officers (usually directors or other senior managers), employees, agents or contractors, and volunteers.
If you’re higher up the management chain you will likely have more influence on the due diligence factors, so your responsibility will be higher too.
Due diligence means taking reasonable steps to:
- know what safe drinking water is, and the sort of things that can put it at risk
- understand your supply, including its hazards and risks, its drinking water safety plan, and how the supply is operated to provide safe drinking water, and
- do what you can to ensure your supplier has appropriate processes and resources to put the drinking water safety plan into action and to meet its other legal duties.
What is reasonable will be looked at in all the circumstances, including the scale, complexity, and risk of the drinking water supply and your personal role and authority.
Everyone needs to be aware of due diligence obligations because failure to comply is an offence. If you are a volunteer (in any role) you still have due diligence obligations, but you cannot be charged with an offence if they are breached.
We encourage all suppliers to discuss these due diligence obligations with their staff and personnel, so that everyone is clear about how they need to work together to provide safe drinking water.