Government announces new drinking water safety regulations

The Government's decided New Zealand needs a watchdog to make sure safe drinking water is available around the country.

It comes after a campylobacter outbreak in Havelock North in 2016, when 5000 people got sick from drinking the town's tap water.

A new Bill is proposing rules for water suppliers, a dedicated water regulator and stronger Government oversight for waste and stormwater services.

"For too long, oversight of water has been split between a number of agencies and legislation, and as a result, responsibility has been fractured and ineffective," said Minister of Local Government Nanaia Mahuta.

"That's not giving people the solutions they need to trust their water supplies. Today's proposals, featuring the new regulator and regulations, will ensure coherent, safe drinking water supplies with additional oversight of wastewater and stormwater services."

Water New Zealand CEO John Pfahlert supported the initiative.

"The Government has picked up on all the key issues raised at the Havelock North contamination inquiry. This is clearly a well thought through series of proposed policy changes."