Consultation on proposed regulations – fees and charges for drinking water suppliers

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See also: Three Waters Review 
Taumata Arowai 

Background
Water Services Bill

Public Consultation – August 2021

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Background

Safe drinking water for all New Zealanders and visitors is essential, and high-performing drinking water, wastewater and stormwater services are vital for the protection of public health and the health of the environment.

The Government is reviewing how to improve the regulation and supply arrangements of drinking water, wastewater and stormwater (three waters) to better support New Zealand’s prosperity, health, safety and environment.

In response to the issues and recommendations highlighted through the Government Inquiry into Havelock North Drinking Water and the Three Waters Review, the Government decided to reform three waters regulatory arrangements. The decisions resulted in:

  • the establishment of Taumata Arowai, a Crown agent with responsibilities for regulating the drinking water system, and a small number of functions relating to the environmental performance of wastewater and stormwater networks;
  • the development of the Water Services Bill, which provides the details of the new drinking water regulatory system that will be overseen by Taumata Arowai; and
  • the Three Waters Reform Programme – a three-year programme to reform local government three waters service delivery arrangements.

Water Services Bill

The Water Services Bill is currently proceeding through the Parliamentary process and is anticipated to be enacted this year.

Regulations will be required to give effect to some of the provisions in the Bill. Some of these regulations need to be developed and consulted on in advance, so they can be put in place as quickly as possible following enactment. One of these regulations relates to fees for three activities that will incur a fee from drinking water suppliers. We are seeking feedback on the proposed cost recovery fees and charges associated with these activities.

Proposed cost recovery fees and charges for drinking water suppliers

The three activities that will incur a fee from drinking water suppliers apply to:

  • Supply drinking water at a ‘planned event’ (cl.33 of the Water Services Bill) e.g. a music festival.
    • Proposed fee: $1,300, plus $130/hour after the first 10 hours, plus any costs incurred to assess the application.
  • Seek a general exemption (cl.56 of the Water Services Bill) from complying with duties in the Water Services Bill.
    • Proposed fee: $780, plus $130/hour after the first 6 hours, plus any costs incurred to assess the application.
  • Seek an exemption (cl.57 of the Water Services Bill) for the requirement for residual disinfection, as required by the Water Services Bill.
    • Proposed fee: $5,200, plus $130/hour after the first 40 hours, plus any costs incurred to assess the application.

Note – all proposed fees above exclude GST.

More information about the changes can be found here: Water Supplier Consultation – Proposed fees and charges to cost recover under Water Services Bill regulations [PDF, 720KB]

Feedback on the proposed fees is sought to inform advice on the new fees to be set in regulation when the Water Services Bill is enacted.

Public Consultation – August 2021

Public consultation is now open on proposed fees to recover the costs incurred by Taumata Arowai in assessing applications for the following three activities:

  • Temporary drinking water supply (cl.33 Planned events) - event organisers (e.g. for a music festival) that plan to supply drinking water from an unregistered drinking water supply.
    • Proposed fee: $1,300 + $130/hour after the first 10 hours + any additional costs incurred
  • General exemptions (cl. 56) from provisions in the Water Services Bill.
    • Proposed fee: $780 + $130/hour after the first 6 hours + any additional costs incurred
  • Exemptions for residual disinfection (cl. 57) - a residual disinfection exemption (such as chlorination). This will allow a supplier to adopt arrangements or use treatment methods other than chlorination to make drinking water safe.
    • Proposed fee: $5,200 + $130/hour after the first 40 hours + any additional costs incurred

The new regulations require ‘planned events’ to be registered (at a cost) as a temporary water supplier, and registered drinking water suppliers can apply for exemptions – also at a cost.

Feedback is sought on these proposed fees and charges.

Consultation closes at 12noon Monday 23 August 2021.

How to provide feedback

You can email feedback to ThreeWaters@dia.govt.nz.

Contact Us

If you need more information or have questions, please email ThreeWaters@dia.govt.nz.