WELLINGTON, July 3 (Xinhua) -- Water New Zealand chief executive John Pfahlert said on Tuesday that the report, which showed one in five New Zealanders are drinking substandard water, highlighted the need for government action to make changes to the way drinking water is provided and regulated.
The Ministry of Health released a report on Friday that showed nearly 20 percent of New Zealanders are drinking from a public water supply that doesn't meet drinking water standards.
Some of New Zealand's most iconic tourist destinations, including the Coromandel, Whangamata, Waitomo Caves, Martinborough and Milford Sound, failed to comply with water supply standards, Pfahlert said.
Many smaller communities continue to fail to supply "demonstrably safe drinking water," he added.
Many of these communities supply drinking water to tens of thousands of tourists each year. Not only is this a hazard to residents in those communities, visitors to this country are also at risk of infection through drinking inadequately treated water, he said.
The report provides further evidence of the need for the establishment of an independent drinking water regulator who is prepared to enforce the drinking water standards, Pfahlert said.
The findings also show that scale matters, with large suppliers such as Auckland's Watercare, Wellington Water, and Dunedin meeting all the compliance standards throughout the year, he said.