Responsibility for drinking water from 15 November 2021.
Ministry of Health, the Director-General of Health, Medical Officers of Health, drinking-water assessors, and designated officers employed by Public Health Units in District Health Boards had statutory responsibilities under Part 2A of the Health Act 1956 to protect the health and safety of people and communities by promoting adequate supplies of safe and wholesome drinking water from all drinking-water supplies.
This responsibility ends on 15 November 2021 when the responsibility for the regulation of drinking water in the Auckland Region (and the rest of NZ) moves to the new central government water regulator, Taumata Arowai.
The Ministry of Health and Public Health Units will retain an interest in drinking water (from the community health perspective) and will have an on-going statutory responsibility for the protection and promotion of public health under the Health Act 1956 and the New Zealand Public Health and Disability Act 2000. These public health responsibilities continue to exist alongside the new responsibilities of Taumata Arowai for the drinking water regulatory system.
For the Auckland region ARPHS and Taumata Arowai have a commitment to work together in a co-operative and collaborative manner to carry out their public health and drinking water responsibilities
ARPHS takes this opportunity to acknowledge the relationships that we have developed over the decades with representatives of the water supply industry.
Taumata Arowai can be contacted via
If you get your water from a water tank, bore or stream, it is the responsibility of the owner of the property to ensure the water supply meets certain requirements. This includes requirements under the Building Act.
Water supplies that are not properly treated can contain germs that can cause serious illnesses. These include giardia and cryptosporidium, salmonella, campylobacter and a form of E. coli called STEC or VTEC.
These micro-organisms come directly or indirectly from animal or human faeces. It may only take a tiny amount to put the water supply at risk. For this reason, drinking water is usually treated. Much of New Zealand’s drinking water has chlorine added that kills bacteria, viruses and other organisms and makes the water safe to drink.
Visit the Ministry of Health for advice on drinking water in an emergency.
The Ministry of Education requires schools to have an adequate supply of safe drinking water available. Further information on the Ministry’s requirements can be found on its website.
Rural schools and early childhood education centres (ECECs), classified as specified self-supplies sourced from roof or bore, must be registered with the Ministry of Health. Find more information about safe drinking water supply in schools here.
There have been changes to the compliance monitoring of drinking water quality for schools with their own water supplies in the Auckland region. ARPHS is no longer involved with the annual review for specified self-supplies, as from July 2018. Review of their water quality test results will now be done by Auckland Council and water supplies will continue to be subject to the provisions of the Building Act and the Health Act.
ARPHS will continue to work with Auckland Council if there are any outbreaks of gastroenteritis or other illness which could be linked to the school’s / ECEC’s water supply.
If you would like to discuss your school drinking water compliance in more detail then please contact Auckland Council on (09) 301 0101.
The Ministry of Health and Public Health Units will have a role from the community health perspective and will have an on-going statutory responsibility for the protection and promotion of public health under the Health Act 1956 and the New Zealand Public Health and Disability Act 2000. These public health responsibilities continue to exist alongside the new responsibilities of Taumata Arowai for the drinking water regulatory system.
For the public
Last updated 12.11.2021