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Taylor's Work On Water Quality Acclaimed

THE man responsible for ensuring New Zealanders have safe, clean water to drink has been acknowledged by his peers for his tireless work. Former Prime Minister David Lange presented the inaugural New Zealand Water & Wastes Association Medal to The Ministry of Health's Senior Advisor (Environment) Public Health Programmes, Michael Taylor, on 27 September.

The Ministry's Deputy Director General of Public Health, Don Matheson, said the medal acknowledges Dr Taylor's extraordinary personal contribution and dedication to ensuring that New Zealanders have clean and safe drinking water.

"As a result of Michael Taylor's work, most New Zealanders are now supplied with water that is proven to be clean, safe and consistently monitored for quality," Dr Matheson said.

Dr Taylor's career began in Britain more than 40 years ago, where he was an oceanographer and research diver for United Kingdom Fisheries Research and the Norwegian Institute of Marine Sciences. In New Zealand, he was instrumental in establishing the water laboratory at the Cawthron Institute, in Nelson, and has overseen research programmes into almost every imaginable water quality issue. Dr Taylor's expertise is internationally recognised and he recently wrote a paper for the Australian journal Water.

Dr Taylor has developed or been heavily involved in creating national drinking water standards, a basis to grade the quality of water supplies, methodologies for water supply monitoring and surveillance, a public register of 2000 water supplies and annual reports on the microbiological quality of drinking water supplies.

National and local government regulation of water quality has been patchy in New Zealand. Recognising that he could not simply focus on technical matters such setting standards and developing methods for monitoring water quality, Dr Taylor has also worked to ensure that legislation covering water supplies is made consistent and workable, across the Local Government Act, Health Act and Building Act.

ENDS

For more information, contact: Angus Barclay, Media Advisor, ph: 04-496-2182 Internet address: http://www.moh.govt.nz/media.html


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