Drinking-Water Quality Policy

Reference: P20-004
Status: Approved by the Council on 21 April 2020

“He puna wai e kore e mimiti, ka koropupū tonu, ka koropupū tonu”

He Puna Wai: The source of our water flows from our mountain Taranaki

E kore e mimiti: It provides us with sustenance, connection to the land and identity

Ka koropupū tonu, ka koropupū tonu: This enduring connection will sustain the land and its people and, so too, must we sustain it.

Commitment to provide safe, high-quality drinking-water

This excerpt from a longer whakataukī unique to Taranaki denotes the water flowing from the Mounga as a source of life and energy that will always sustain the people of Taranaki. It is an enduring symbol of identity which connects all Taranaki people to Taranaki whenua. As the water sustains us, so too, we have a responsibility to sustain the water.

New Plymouth District Council (NPDC) recognises drinking water is critical to sustaining the health of its community and is committed to managing its water supplies effectively in order to provide safe, high-quality drinking-water.

NPDC will ensure that its water supply consistently meets the expectations of the New Zealand Drinking-water Safety Plan Framework the requirements of the Health (Drinking Water) Amendment Act 2007 and Drinking-water Standards for New Zealand, and consumer and other regulatory requirements.

Principles to guide the effective management of water 

To achieve this, NPDC will ensure that the management of its water supply is guided by the six principles of drinking-water safety in New Zealand. 

In partnership with iwi, stakeholders and relevant agencies, NPDC (including Elected Members, executive management and employees) will:

Principle 1 – A high standard of care must be embraced
I. Apply the highest standard of care to supply safe drinking-water from source to tap.

II. Obtain feedback on the needs and expectations of our stakeholders, and assess our performance to ensure these needs and expectations continue to be met.

Principle 2 – Protection of source water is of paramount importance
III. Acknowledge that protection of source water is of paramount importance in protecting consumers against drinking-water contamination and illness. This reflects the He Puna Wai whakatauākī of sustaining the health of the water so that it can sustain the health of the people of Taranaki. We will work with the Taranaki Regional Council to ensure source water is protected.

Principle 3 – Maintain multiple barriers against contamination
IV. Maintain robust multiple barriers against contamination appropriate to the level of potential contamination and harm.

Principle 4 – Change (including changes to processes and hazardous events) precedes contamination
V. Acknowledge that contamination is almost always preceded by some kind of change and council will always respond to change to ensure continued understanding of drinking-water quality issues and performance. Change can include natural events, changes in processes and procedures, organisational and personnel changes.

Principle 5 – Suppliers must own the safety of drinking-water
VI. Maintain a personal sense of responsibility and dedication to providing consumers with safe drinking-water.

VII. Undertake regular monitoring of the quality of drinking-water to provide relevant and timely information, and promote confidence in the water supply and its management.

Principle 6 – Apply a preventative risk management approach
VIII. Implement a preventive risk-based approach in which potential threats to water quality and quantity are identified and managed via developing appropriate contingency planning and incident response capability.

Whole of Council commitment to providing safe, high-quality drinking-water

IX. All elected members, managers and employees involved in the supply of drinking-water are responsible for understanding, implementing, maintaining and continually improving the drinking-water quality management system.

Policy review

Policy to be reviewed every 3 years to inform the council’s long term planning process. Next review 2023.