Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


LGNZ Welcomes Detail On Long Needed Drinking-water Regulator

LGNZ is today welcoming the introduction of the Water Services Bill, legislation that will detail the powers of the recently formed drinking water regulator Taumata Arowai.

LGNZ has been calling for clear drinking-water standards, and strong enforcement of those standards since 2015, when LGNZ published the Three Waters position paper, a year before the Havelock North contamination. That position paper highlighted the need for improved regulatory frameworks and enforcement of the standards.

The Water Services Bill is the third pillar in the Government’s reform programme, which also comprises establishing Taumata Arowai as the regulator, and proposing new multi-regional statutory entities to deliver three waters services.

“In countries around the world, best practice is that a regulator sets clear standards, and strong enforcement action backs those up. Then it is up to the asset owners and providers to meet those standards, or face enforcement,” says LGNZ President Dave Cull.

“Unfortunately New Zealand has been a little bit unusual in the fact that we didn’t have clear standards or rigorous enforcement, and that has contributed greatly to a system failure.”

The Government’s own Havelock North contamination review was damning of the previous regulatory system, finding that no formal enforcement action was taken by District Health Boards from when the previous drinking water regime was introduced in 2007, up until 2018.

“LGNZ support the ambitions of the Government to ensure safe drinking-water, and we are working closely with them to ensure this. We’re very pleased to see this long needed regulator taking shape. It will drive real improvement for New Zealand’s drinking water regulation.”

“It’s fair to say that the vast majority of New Zealanders can turn their taps on at any time and be confident that they will get clean, fresh drinking water, but this regulator will work to lift performance in specific areas.”

Similar to some council networks, there are affordability challenges for non-networked supplies in meeting new, higher standards.

“Councils need to dedicate their attention to council owned and operated supplies. Our preference is that the drinking-water regulator is responsible for assessing non-council water networks in the first instance, while councils work to meet the standards of their own networks.”

Implications for housing and infrastructure growth also need to be fully considered.

“Not all growth can be serviced through connections to the council network. The Government needs to be clear whether it wants to enable independent non-council networks in the future, or if it seeks to limit growth to where the reticulated council networks are.”

“This presents a situation where local government could be the last man standing, putting a significant burden on ratepayers, and therefore making councils very cautious when assessing developments that set up their own network.”

“Regardless, Local Government New Zealand is committed to working with the Government on Three Waters Reform, and looking at how we can address these questions and improve affordability of improved three waters infrastructure, that meets higher standards in the future,” concluded Mr Cull.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Elusive Charms Of Christopher Luxon

Well, the first 36 hours of viewing the Christopher Luxon selfie were always going to be the best, before the repetitions set in. We get it, already. He’s an extroverted/big ego/high achieving/God fearing/country music lovin’/family man who is not at all averse to mansplaining to little ladies like RNZ’s Kathryn Ryan what “technical” words like “productivity” actually mean. But wait, there’s more. National is back! Mind you, that’s not the Bad National of recent experience, but the Good National of days gone by... More>>


Cancer Society: Hopes Final Pharmac Report Is Stronger

Today the delayed Interim Report was released by the Pharmac Review Panel. The performance of Pharmac and access to cancer drugs is a major concern for the Cancer Society... More>>

Defence: New Zealand Response To Assist Peace And Stability In Solomon Islands
The New Zealand government has announced that it will deploy Defence Force and Police personnel to Honiara to help restore peace and stability. “New Zealand is committed to its responsibilities and playing its part in upholding regional security,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said.... More>>

Government: Delivers Reactivation Package As Aucklanders Reconnect For Summer
A new support package will help revive economic, social and cultural activities in our largest city over summer, and ensure those in hardship also get relief. The Social Development and Employment Minister Carmel Sepuloni and the Economic and Regional Development Minister Stuart Nash... More>>

National Party: Bridges Appointed Finance & Infrastructure Spokesperson

Hon Simon Bridges is the National Party’s new Finance and Infrastructure spokesperson, National Leader Christopher Luxon announced today. “Simon has prodigious skills, incredible talent and the intellectual heft needed to excel as National’s Finance spokesperson,” Mr Luxon says.... More>>

Waitangi National Trust: Waitangi Week
The Waitangi National Trust has decided there will be no in-person events at Waitangi Treaty Grounds during Waitangi Week 2022. Under the COVID-19 Protection Framework it would be practically impossible to safely proceed with the usual events of Waitangi commemorations... More>>

Freedom Camping: Making Sure People Are Up To Play With Changes
People interested in finding out how the proposed improvements to freedom camping might affect them are being invited to an information-sharing webinar... More>>




InfoPages News Channels