Water Services Act 2021

If you need more information about this Act, please contact the administering agency: Department of Internal Affairs

Version as at 15 December 2022

Coat of Arms of New Zealand

Water Services Act 2021

Public Act
2021 No 36
Date of assent
4 October 2021
see section 2

The Parliamentary Counsel Office has made editorial and format changes to this version using the powers under subpart 2 of Part 3 of the Legislation Act 2019.

Note 4 at the end of this version provides a list of the amendments included in it.

This Act is administered by the Department of Internal Affairs.


3Purpose of this Act
4Overview of this Act
6Meaning of drinking water
7Meaning of safe in relation to drinking water
8Meaning of drinking water supplier
9Meaning of drinking water supply
10Meaning of domestic self-supply and domestic dwelling
11Meaning of operator
12Meaning of owner
13Meaning of point of supply
14Te Mana o te Wai: meaning, application, effect
15Duties not transferable
16Person may have more than 1 duty
17More than 1 person may have same duty
18Transitional, savings, and related provisions
19Act binds the Crown
20Enforcement of Act against the Crown
21Duty to supply safe drinking water
22Duty to comply with drinking water standards
23Duty of owner of drinking water supply to register supply
24Duty to take reasonable steps to supply aesthetically acceptable drinking water
25Duty to provide sufficient quantity of drinking water
26Duties where sufficient quantity of drinking water at imminent risk
27Duty to protect against risk of backflow
28Duties relating to end-point treatment
29Duty of officers, employees, and agents to exercise due diligence
30Owner must have drinking water safety plan
31Drinking water safety plans
32Taumata Arowai to review drinking water safety plans and monitor compliance
33Planned events
34Unplanned supply of drinking water
35Duty to notify Taumata Arowai of notifiable risk or hazard
36Notification duties of drinking water supplier
37Drinking water suppliers to keep records
38Requirement for supplier to provide information to consumers and have complaints process
39Review by Taumata Arowai
40Taumata Arowai to monitor compliance with complaints process
41Purpose of subpart
43Source water risk management plans
44Suppliers to monitor source water quality
45Information sharing with local authorities
46Regional councils to publish information about source water
47Power to make drinking water standards
48Aesthetic values for drinking water
49Compliance rules
50Acceptable solutions or verification methods for drinking water
51Compliance with acceptable solution or verification method for drinking water
52Templates and models
53Taumata Arowai consultation requirements
54Application to register drinking water supply
55Register of drinking water supplies
56Duty to renew annual registration and notify changes
57General exemptions
58Exemption: residual disinfection
59Taumata Arowai may declare drinking water emergency
60Maximum duration of drinking water emergency declaration
61Drinking water emergency may be declared or continued even if other emergency declared
62Special powers of Taumata Arowai during drinking water emergency
63Exemption during drinking water emergency
64Compensation for property requisitioned or destroyed
65Actions taken under emergency powers may be exempted from requirements of Part 3 of Resource Management Act 1991
66Regulations relating to emergency situations
67Effect of exemption
68Requirement for operators to be authorised
69Requirement for prescribed skills, qualifications, or experience in respect of drinking water supply or wastewater network
70Requirement for prescribed skills, qualifications, or experience for water sampling
71Requirement to comply with conditions of authorisation
72Regulations relating to authorisations
73Duty to use accredited laboratory to analyse water
74Taumata Arowai may appoint accreditation body
75Requirements relating to laboratories
78Criteria for accreditation
79Application for accreditation
80Suspension or revocation of accreditation
81Laboratory accreditation body must notify Taumata Arowai of grant of, or change to, accreditation
82Register of accredited laboratories
83Non-performance by drinking water supplier
84Criteria for appointment or renewal of appointment
85Effect of appointment
86Costs may be recovered from drinking water supplier
87Requirements for appointment
88Notice of appointment to drinking water supplier
89Application for internal review
90Decision of Taumata Arowai
91Notice of decision on internal review
92Stay of reviewable decision on internal review
94Interim order by District Court
95Appeal to High Court
96Appeals to Court of Appeal or Supreme Court
97Effect of appeal against compliance order
98Appointment of compliance officers
99Identity cards
100Suspension and ending of appointment of compliance officers
101Compliance officers subject to Taumata Arowai’s directions
102Chief executive has powers of compliance officer
103Purpose of powers in this subpart
105Compliance officer powers where serious risk to public health exists
106Requirements relating to exercise of section 105 powers
107Power to take and test samples
108Power to obtain information
109Power to require name and address
110Power to question drinking water supplier
111Powers of entry and inspection
112Power to enter without search warrant
113Notice of entry
114Power of Taumata Arowai to authorise making of applications for search warrants
115Continuation of powers of entry and inspection without search warrants
116Conditions of entry, search, and seizure
117Building Act 2004
118Power to ask for assistance
119Protection of persons acting under authority of Act
120Power to issue compliance order
121Compliance with compliance order
122Form and content of compliance order
123Chief executive may vary or cancel order
124Formal irregularities or defects in order
125General provisions relating to directions and orders
126When chief executive may carry out remedial action
127Power of chief executive to take other remedial action
128Costs of remedial or other action
129Civil proceedings relating to non-compliance with compliance order
130Chief executive may accept enforceable undertakings
131Notice of decision and reasons for decision
132When enforceable undertaking is enforceable
133Contravention of enforceable undertaking
134Withdrawal or variation of enforceable undertaking
135Proceedings for alleged contravention
136Drinking water compliance, monitoring, and enforcement strategy
137Taumata Arowai to publish annual drinking water regulation report
138Wastewater environmental performance standards
139Wastewater network risk management plans
141Monitoring and reporting on environmental performance of networks
142Collection of information for monitoring and reporting on environmental performance
143Civil proceedings relating to non-compliance with section 142 or 146
144Network registers
145Environmental performance measures and targets for networks
146Record-keeping requirements for monitoring and reporting purposes
147Annual reporting on networks
148Further provisions relating to reporting
150Infringement offences
151When infringement notice may be issued
152How infringement notice may be served
153What infringement notice must contain
154Revocation of infringement notice before payment is made
155Payment of infringement fees
156Reminder notices
157Meaning of enforcement action
158Person may notify chief executive of interest in knowing of enforcement action
159Prosecutions by chief executive
160Private prosecutions
161Continuing or repeated matters
162Limitation period for prosecutions brought by chief executive
163Extension of time if chief executive needs longer to decide whether to bring prosecution
164Certain proceedings may be brought after end of limitation period if fresh evidence discovered
165Defence in prosecution for strict liability offence
166Liability of body corporate or unincorporated body
167Liability of body corporate, unincorporated body, principal, or individual
168Liability of officers, employees, and agents of drinking water supplier
169Liability of volunteers
170Liability of elected officials
171Offence involving recklessness in supply of unsafe drinking water
172Offence involving negligence in supply of unsafe drinking water
173Offence involving contamination of raw water or drinking water
174Offence involving recklessness in failure to take immediate action when drinking water unsafe
175Offence involving negligence in failure to take immediate action when drinking water unsafe
176Offence involving failure to notify Taumata Arowai of notifiable risk or hazard
177Offence involving failure to provide sufficient quantity of drinking water
178Offence involving supply of drinking water from unregistered supply
179Offence involving provision of false or misleading information
180Offence involving failure to notify changes in details on register
181Offence involving drinking water safety plan
182Offence involving failure to comply with condition or direction
183Offence involving failure to comply with compliance order or court order
184Offence involving failure to keep and maintain records
185Offence involving failure to comply with emergency directions or conditions
186Offence involving breach of requirements relating to authorisations
187Offence relating to planned events or unplanned supply of drinking water
188Offence involving failure to advise consumers about, provide, and report on complaint process
189Offence involving hindering or obstructing Taumata Arowai
190Offence involving threatening or assaulting employee or agent of Taumata Arowai
191Offence involving deception by pretending to be employee or agent of Taumata Arowai, or authorised person
192Offence for failing to comply with duty of due diligence
193Application of subpart
194Sentencing criteria
195Order for payment of chief executive’s costs in bringing prosecution
196Release on giving of court-ordered enforceable undertaking
198Supervision and training orders
199Restriction or prohibition
202Recovery of fees and levies
204Information sharing with regulatory agencies
205Publication of instruments
206Amendments and revocation
207Amendments to Local Government Act 2002
208Subpart 1 of Part 7 replaced
125Requirement to assess drinking water services
126Requirements following assessment of community drinking water service
127Duty to ensure communities have access to drinking water if existing suppliers facing significant problems
128Requirement to assess wastewater and other sanitary services
209Section 130 amended (Obligation to maintain water services)
210Section 131 amended (Power to close down or transfer small water services)
211Section 146 amended (Specific bylaw-making powers of territorial authorities)
212Schedule 1AA amended
23Requirements in subpart 1 of Part 7
213Schedule 10 amended

The Parliament of New Zealand enacts as follows: