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Independent Drinking Water Regulator Supported

25 October 2019

Water New Zealand said today that they fully supported today’s announcement of the establishment of an independent drinking water regulator as a new stand-alone crown agent.

Chief Executive of Water New Zealand John Pfahlert said a stand-alone regulator would provide an enduring focus on drinking water safety, rather than having that function delivered by an agency with a raft of other conflicting objectives.

“Having an organisational structure focussed on drinking water will ensure drinking water safety is prioritised and resources are dedicated to the task” said Mr Pfahlert.

Water New Zealand is particularly heartened to see that the new organisation will be technically focussed with the objective of appointing high calibre regulatory experts to senior positions in the organisation. He said that would ensure the regulatory had the necessary skills to work co-operatively with water suppliers at a technical level, rather than just being an enforcement agency.

Mr Pfahlert said that it was excellent to see a Maori Advisory Group will be established to advise the regulator on and to uphold Te Mana o te Wai, and how to enable matauranga Maori and kaitiakatanga to be exercised.

Also, a technical advisory group to advise the regulator on scientific and technical matters more generally was a necessary support to the regulator, he said.

The Association said it was looking forward to working with both Ministers and officials during the passage of the proposed Crown Entity (Water Services) Establishment Bill.


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