Water findings highlight need for action

Health Minister Dr David Clark says he is taking action following the release of the Stage 2 findings from the Government Inquiry into Havelock North Drinking Water.

 “All New Zealanders should expect to have access to clean drinking water and, following this report, some will ask whether their water is safe. This report highlights that little has been done in this space for nine years,” Dr Clark says.

“The inquiry found that 80 per cent of residents have access to water which meets current standards.  The inquiry raised concerns about the other 20 per cent.

“My priority, in reviewing the recommendations, remains the health of every New Zealander.

“Overall, this report raises serious concerns about oversight and infrastructure. We will be pursuing solutions to address any problems identified.

“I’ll be briefing Cabinet before Christmas on the next steps – both short and long term.”

Dr Clark acknowledged the scope of the report.

“Much of what we’re reading about today reflects yet another problem inherited from the previous Government and their nine years of neglect.

“I am expecting the Ministry of Health to take the report’s findings very seriously.

“The inquiry indicates that while drinking water standards instituted in 2007 represented international best practice at the time, since then New Zealand’s standards have not kept up with the world. This is a failure of the previous Government, and one we will take control of and address,” Dr Clark said.  

The report is available here: https://www.dia.govt.nz/Government-Inquiry-into-Havelock-North-Drinking-Water