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Water Services Act 2021 (2021 No 36).

Type of law

The main purpose of this Act is to ensure that drinking water suppliers provide safe drinking water to consumers by a) providing a drinking water regulatory framework that is consistent with internationally accepted best practice, including a duty on drinking water suppliers to have a drinking water safety plan; and comply with legislative requirements (such as drinking water standards) on a consistent basis; b) by providing a source water risk management framework that, together with the Resource Management Act 1991, regulations made under that Act, and the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management, enables risks to source water to be properly identified, managed, and monitored; and c) providing mechanisms that enable the regulation of drinking water to be proportionate to the scale, complexity, and risk profile of each drinking water supply.
This Act has the following additional purposes: to establish a framework to provide transparency about the performance of drinking water, wastewater, and stormwater networks and network operators; and to provide mechanisms that build and maintain capability among drinking water suppliers and across the wider water services sector; and to establish a framework for the continuous and progressive improvement of the quality of water services in New Zealand.
Part 1 concerns the purpose of this Act, definitions, key terms and key principles, and other preliminary provisions. Among the key principles the Act highlights that in performing a function, power, or duty under the Act a person must give effect to Te Mana o te Wai with the meaning set out in the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management. Part 2 contains provisions relating to the supply of drinking water, it lists duties of drinking water suppliers. Subpart 2 requires the owner to draft and implement a drinking water safety plans, subpart 3 establishes requirements relating to notifications and record keeping. Subpart 5 requires water suppliers to prepare and implement a source water risk management plan to ensure that the risks and hazards to source water are identified, assessed, managed, and monitored by drinking water suppliers and local authorities; and information on source water, and measures to manage risks and hazards to source water, are published on a regular basis by regional councils. Other aspects covered under Part 2 are power to make drinking water standards, emergency powers, drinking water supply register.
Part 3 provides for monitoring, compliance, offences and enforcement provisions. Part 4 contains regulation-making powers and miscellaneous provisions. Part 5 encompasses amendments to the Local Government Act 2002.
Date of text
Entry into force notes
Not yet in force as 6 October 2021.
Reprinted edition as at 1 March 2022.
Source language


Legislation Amendment