MINUTES OF A meeting of the Hawke's Bay Drinking Water Governance Joint Committee


Date:                                    Friday 2 July 2021

Time:                                    10.04am



Council Chamber

Hawke's Bay Regional Council

159 Dalton Street



Present:                              G Cowie – Chair

A Apatu (HBDHB)

A Walker (CHBDC)

K Watkins (HDC)

C Little (WDC) (via Zoom)

H Ormsby (HBRC)

M Williams (HBRC)

N Simpson (NCC)


In Attendance:                 E Lambert – Consultant

                                               B Bayfield - Taumata Arowai Chief Executive (via Zoom)

                                               R McMillan – Taumata Arowai Head of Regulatory (via Zoom)

P Martin – HBRC Senior Governance Advisor

T Goodlass – NCC

C Thew – HDC

Dr. N Jones – HBDHB

J Lloyd – CHBDC (via Zoom)

M Rohleder HBDHB (via Zoom)

R Ball – HBDHB

J Kingsford – NCC


1.         Welcome/Karakia /Apologies/Notices

The Chair welcomed everyone and Hinewai Ormsby led a karakia to open the meeting.


DWG17/21      That the apologies for absence from Heather Skipworth, Councillor Ronda Chrystal and Mayor Sandra Hazlehurst be accepted.



2.         Conflict of Interest Declarations

There were no conflicts of interest declared.


3.         Confirmation of Minutes of the Hawke's Bay Drinking Water Governance Joint Committee held on 29 March 2021



Minutes of the Hawke's Bay Drinking Water Governance Joint Committee held on Monday, 29 March 2021, a copy having been circulated prior to the meeting, were taken as read and confirmed as a true and correct record.





Call for Minor Items not on the Agenda


No items were raised.



Taumata Arowai Presentation


Bill Bayfield and Ray McMillan (both via Zoom) delivered a presentation entitled “Taumata Arowai and our journey so far”. Highlights included:

·    The history of Taumata Arowai (TA) including its links to the Havelock North water contamination event

·    Approx. 800,000 people in NZ access water from an uncontrolled source

·    Partnerships across the country are vital to achieve TA outcomes

·    TA has found it useful to set out what it does not do – not a water supplier, nor a funder, not a water consenter, not a bottling regulator, not the three waters lead agency and not a local Government reform agency

·    The responsibilities of Regional Councils, TA, MfE, DIA and MoH

·    TA workstreams include establishing five offices, recruiting staff, developing communication channels (website now live), and relationship building

·    The Water Services Bill was drafted on the understanding that there was approx. 5000 self-suppliers. This number may be closer to 75,000

·    Bill submissions closed in early March 2021. With over 1000 submissions received, the reporting deadline for the Health Select Committee has been extended to 11 August 2021

·    DIA submission on the Water Services Bill was 275 pages long. The bill was developed pre COVID 19 with a focus on drinking water; it is considered likely that there will be changes to more substantially address waste water and storm water issues

·    Water Services Bill submissions  - 38% of submitters want marae to be excluded and 23% oppose adding chemicals to drinking water

·    TA standards, rules and acceptable solutions are likely to be based on WHO standards, which are not significantly different to the current standard. Public consultation on these is expected to start in August 2021

·    TA was expected to “go live” 1 July 2021; now targeting 1 November 2021.

·     MoH will remain the regulatory authority. TA is an Independent Crown Entity that will be empowered upon enactment of the Water Services Bill

·    Proposal for four controlling entities across NZ has been publicised; it is expected that some of the 67 TLAs will opt out of the proposed structure

·    MoU is being developed with MoH that includes data sharing / transfer, responsibilities for actions, remedies and incidents and policy. Data gathering and sharing is a major issue

·    Responsibility for freshwater matters will remain with Regional Councils

·    TA is looking to learn from the HB event. Councils are now on a similar pathway (looking to co-operate, gathering information etc.) however often with differing approaches. TA is seeking consistency and calling for a “pause” to allow this to take place

·    HB TLAs and working group are keen to share their experiences to help build a streamlined approach across the country

·    There is already a shortage of skilled technical water staff which is expected to get worse. TA is working with private training providers to address this issue.      



That the Hawke’s Bay Drinking Water Group Joint Committee receives and notes the “Taumata Arowai Presentation” report.





Review of Terms of Reference for the Hawke’s Bay Drinking Water Governance Joint Committee


Liz Lambert introduced this item highlighting the following matters:

·    History of the Joint Committee including assisting the working group to be become a permanent network.

·    Submissions to TANK have been an important function of the Joint Committee

·    The communications protocol developed has proved itself, enabling the JWG to function more effectively

·    At the 29 March 2021 Joint Committee meeting, a terms of  reference review sub group was established. That group met with members of the regional leaders forum and the working group. There was a view that the Joint Committee had fulfilled its role. 

·    With challenges and changes ahead in the Three Waters area, it would be more efficient for the working group if reporting lines were simplified  

·    If the Joint Committee resolves to disestablish, each partner council would need to consider and confirm such a resolution.

·    The workplan managed / presented by the working group is to be modified to include comments on what aspects of its activities require governance oversight. The workplan could then be the basis for reporting to partner Councils and the Regional Leadership Forum if a disestablishment resolution is passed.

·    There was considerable discussion and agreement on the need to retain the Joint Working Group to continue its collaboration initiatives and work plan, particularly given the level of uncertainty and changes within the drinking water regulatory and compliance areas.

·    There was also a general consensus, following concerns raised by the District Health Board, that any new arrangements needed to have the public health aspects covered through the Regional Leaders Forum (and representation when required). The Committee also discussed at length the need for iwi to be equally involved as well.



That the Hawke’s Bay Drinking Water Governance Joint Committee:

1.      Receives and considers the “Review of Terms of Reference for the Hawke’s Bay Drinking Water Governance Joint Committee” staff report.

2.      Agrees that the decisions to be made are not significant under the criteria contained in Hawke’s Bay Regional Council’s adopted Significance and Engagement Policy, and that the Joint Committee can exercise its discretion and make decisions on this issue without conferring directly with the community or persons likely to have an interest in the decision.

3.      Recommends to the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council and all other member agencies that they consider whether:

3.1.       The Hawke’s Bay Drinking Water Governance Joint Committee should be disestablished, having regard to the functions for which it was set up, and the progression of its workplan, such that governance oversight of drinking water safety would be transferred to the Regional Leaders’ Forum who may consider incorporating the appropriate representation requirements, particularly public health and Iwi.

3.2.       The Hawke’s Bay Drinking Water Joint Working Group should be retained and report directly to the Regional Leaders’ Forum, with a report on its future institutional and administrative support to be prepared for consideration and approval by the Regional Leaders’ Forum.



Following the passing of the resolution the Committee also discussed meeting dates and the process for a report to circulate to all agencies for their own discussions and decisions on the Joint Committee being disestablished prior to the next Committee meeting scheduled in November.


Report on the Joint Committee's verbal submission to the TANK Hearing Panel


Liz introduced this item and highlighted:

·    Having been allocated 40 minutes by the Hearings Panel, and following the presentation of the verbal submission by the Chair (which has been previously circulated to all members) there were a number of questions raised by the Panel. Some were of a more technical nature, which Dr Nick Jones responded to, while others were answered by either the Chair, Garth Cowie, and/or Craig Thew of Hastings District Council.

·    Our representatives felt that the Panel was understanding of the issues raised and had a good understanding of Source Protection Zones and the ongoing need to control activities within them from a first principles perspective for safe drinking water.



That the Hawke’s Bay Drinking Water Governance Joint Committee receives and notes the “Report on the Joint Committee's Verbal Submission to the TANK Hearing Panel” staff report.




The Chair tabled a printed copy of a Taumata Arowai presentation titled “Source Water quality – information sharing between stakeholders” which was briefly discussed and will be circulated electronically after the meeting. The data sharing schematic was particularly challenging given the complexities and at this stage did not include the public health requirements.


Hinewai Ormsby led a closing karakia



There being no further business the Chairman declared the meeting closed at 12.01pm on Friday, 2 July 2021.


Signed as a true and correct record.




DATE: ................................................                           CHAIRMAN: ...............................................