On 15 November 2021, when the Water Services Act 2021 came into effect, Taumata Arowai was established as Aotearoa New Zealand’s dedicated and independent drinking water regulator. Taumata Arowai replaces the Ministry of Health’s function as regulator. However, the Ministry will continue to work with Taumata Arowai as they continue to be responsible for drinking water policy.
Taumata Arowai will be in charge of the developing and enforcing the new Drinking Water Standards. Any water supplier will liaise directly with them. Suppliers that were registered with Ministry of Health prior to 15 November 2021 fall within the purview of the Water Services Act (2021) and are automatically transferred to Taumata Arowai’s database.
Unregistered drinking water suppliers have been allotted up to four years to register with Taumata Arowai and seven years to provide a Drinking Water Safety Plan or to comply with an Acceptable Solution as an alternative. However, suppliers intending to supply drinking water after 15 November 2021 must register with Taumata Arowai before commencing the supply.
If you are a water supplier, please head over to Taumata Arowai’s website for information on your responsibilities.
The Department of Internal Affairs, regional councils, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry for the Environment, and Taumata Arowai will still collaborate in different roles as part of the three waters delivery framework as shown below.