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Need for water sector reform reflected in proposals

Need for water sector reform reflected in Government proposals

20 November 2018

Water New Zealand says the Government’s “road-map” proposals for the future of drinking, waste and stormwater recognises the need for significant change in the way water services are regulated and delivered.

Water New Zealand CEO John Pfahlert says the Future state of the three waters system: regulation and service delivery Cabinet Paper, released today, provides a sensible pathway towards fixing the fundamental flaws that currently exist in the three waters system.

He says the paper confirms the findings of the Havelock North Drinking Water Inquiry which highlighted the “systemic issues” that led to the contamination in which 5500 people became infected with campylobacter and at least four people died.

“The Paper clearly identifies that there is a case for change and that because the key problems and challenges facing the three water sector are systemic in nature, there is a need for a system wide response.

“It reflects the views of many in the water sector when it says that the status quo is not sustainable and that both domestic and international models demonstrate that better quality services can be delivered to consumers more efficiently.”

The Government is looking at the establishment of a new water regulator and addressing the broader governance questions around the service and delivery of the three waters.

“It appears very much focussed on an approach that would ensure the efficient, effective and transparent delivery of three waters services in the long term.

“We look forward to working with the Government to achieve that outcome.”

Water New Zealand is a national not-for-profit organisation which promotes the sustainable management and development of New Zealand’s three waters (freshwater, wastewater and storm water). Water New Zealand is the country's largest water industry body, providing leadership and support in the water sector through advocacy, collaboration and professional development. Its 1,600 members are drawn from all areas of the water management industry including regional councils and territorial authorities, consultants, suppliers, government agencies, academia and scientists.


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