Taumata Arowai

Taumata Arowai was established as a standalone Crown entity in March 2021 and became New Zealand’s dedicated regulator of drinking water, wastewater and stormwater when the Water Services Bill was enacted in September 2021. For more information please go to the Taumata Arowai website.

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Background
Overview of Water Services Bill
Key documents supporting the establishment of Taumata Arowai

Background

Safe drinking water for all New Zealanders and visitors to our shores is a reasonable expectation and high-performing drinking water, wastewater and stormwater services are essential for the protection of public health, and the health of the environment.

Recognising this importance, in September 2019, the New Zealand Government agreed to create a new water services regulator to administer and enforce a new drinking water regulatory system, while contributing to improved environmental outcomes from wastewater and stormwater networks.

Taumata Arowai was established as a Crown entity in March 2021 and became New Zealand’s dedicated regulator of drinking water, wastewater and stormwater when the Water Services Bill (Parliament website) was enacted in September 2021.

Now that Taumata Arowai is fully functional it:

  • Oversees and administers an expanded and strengthened drinking water regulatory system to ensure all New Zealand communities have access to safe drinking water. That includes holding drinking water suppliers to account, if need be. See: For water suppliers (Taumata Arowai website).
  • Oversees, from a national perspective, the environmental performance of wastewater and stormwater networks. Regional councils remain the primary regulators of wastewater and stormwater.

Contact Taumata Arowai at info@taumataarowai.govt.nz.

Three Waters Reform Programme

The establishment of Taumata Arowai is one of three pou (pillars) of the Government’s Three Waters Reform Programme, alongside the regulatory reforms outlined in the Water Services Bill and the reforms to water delivery services.

These reforms are intended to address issues and opportunities that were highlighted by the Government Inquiry into the Havelock North Drinking Water, and in the Government’s Three Waters Review.

Read more information on the Three Waters Reform Programme website.

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Overview of the Water Services Bill

Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced the introduction of the Water Services Bill on 27 July 2020.

The Bill contains all of the details of the new drinking water regulatory system, the provisions relating to source water protection and Taumata Arowai’s wastewater and stormwater functions.

Taumata Arowai became New Zealand’s dedicated regulator of drinking water, wastewater and stormwater when the Water Services Bill (Parliament website) was enacted in September 2021.

Media release - Bill to transform drinking water safety passes (Beehive website)

Overview of the Water Services Bill (PDF, 1MB)

The Water Services Bill (Taumata Arowai website)

Related Cabinet papers are available on the DIA website

New Drinking Water Regulatory System - Exposure drafts

The Water Services Bill gives Taumata Arowai the authority to prepare standards and rules that water suppliers must comply with.

Read the working drafts/exposure drafts of these proposed new drinking water standards and rules.

When the Water Services Bill is passed, expected to be in the second half of 2021, Taumata Arowai takes over as the regulator of drinking water. Until then, the Ministry of Health remains the regulator of drinking water.

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Key documents supporting the establishment of Taumata Arowai 

Cabinet papers and minutes

Whānaui, hapū and iwi Māori engagement (September 2020)

Reports

News and Media (Beehive website)

Contact Taumata Arowai at: info@taumataarowai.govt.nz

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