Safe drinking-water is necessary for good health. The Ministry of Health engages with public health professionals and authorities to formulate policy for achieving safe drinking-water supplies and effective sanitation in New Zealand.

Taumata Arowai: a new water regulator

All New Zealanders deserve safe, reliable, and affordable water services that support good health and sustainable environmental outcomes.

The government is developing a new regulatory framework for ensuring Aotearoa’s drinking-water is safe, and to improve environmental outcomes for wastewater and stormwater. This is called the Water Services Reform Programme. More information about the reform can be found on the Water Services Reform Programme website.

The new framework will be overseen by Taumata Arowai, the new and independent water services regulator.

Taumata Arowai became fully operational as the drinking-water regulator when the Water Services Act 2021 came into effect on 15 November 2021. Part 2A (Drinking Water) of the Health Act 1956 was repealed from this date. 

Following public consultation Taumata Arowai have published new Drinking Water Standards which came into effect on 14 November 2022. read more about that here on their website.

The Ministry of Health will remain as the organisation in charge of drinking-water policy, and will work closely with Taumata Arowai.

The Taumata Arowai Drinking Water Regulation Report for 2022 is available here.

More information about Taumata Arowai and their regulatory role can be found on the Taumata Arowai website.