Improving the protection of drinking-water sources

Closed 6 Mar 2022

Opened 10 Jan 2022

Results updated 30 Jun 2022

From 10 January to 6 March 2022, the Ministry for the Environment consulted on proposed amendments to the Resource Management (National Environmental Standards for Sources of Human Drinking Water) Regulations 2007 (NES-DW). We received 2,407 submissions which set out a range of views about each aspect of the proposed amendments.

Thank you to all who made a submission.

Read the summary of submissions [PDF, 810 KB]

Emailed submissions, and those submitted through the consultation website, are available to view under 'Published responses'. We also received over 2,000 submissions as part of a campaign by Greenpeace, and those respondents who gave permission to publish their submission and name are included in the file below.

View the Greenpeace campaign submissions [PDF, 3.1MB]

Published responses

View submitted responses where consent has been given to publish the response.


Everyone should have access to safe drinking water. We are considering changes to the National Environmental Standards for Sources of Human Drinking Water (NES-DW) to better protect our sources of drinking water.

The Government consulted on three proposals to strengthen the NES-DW:

  • standardising the way we define source water areas 
  • strengthening regulation of activities around water sources
  • including more water suppliers under the NES-DW.

This consultation closed on 6 March 2022.

Read the consultation document for Kia kaha ake te tiakina o ngā puna wai-inu: Improving the protection of drinking-water source [PDF, 3.8 MB]

Read the full press release from the Associate Minister for the Environment

Note: Newly established water services regulator Taumata Arowai ran consultations focusing on other areas of drinking water regulation including drinking water standards and rules. These closed on 28 March 2022. Find out more at

What happens next

We will provide final policy advice to the Government on the preferred options, now that submissions have been analysed and summarised.

If you have any queries please email