Water quality

New Zealand is richly endowed with rivers and streams, lakes and estuaries, aquifers and groundwater. The beauty of these water bodies is integral to our national identity. Images of clear water underpin the ‘clean green’ brand our tourism industry relies on, and water is the lifeblood of our agriculture. We value being able to swim, fish and gather mahingi kai in many places across the country. For Maori, water is taonga – a treasure.

Over recent years, as public debate on the subject has intensified, the Commissioner has produced a number of reports, updates and submissions concerning fresh water quality and management in New Zealand – all of which are available in the Pulications section of this website.

The science of water quality is complex and multifaceted. In this explore section, you will find information on some of the key findings from the Commissioner’s investigations, along with pointers on where to find out more.