Providing drinking-water at events
If you are organising an event for more than 24 people, and intend to offer drinking-water that is not commercially bottled, you need to seek permission from the Nelson Marlborough Public Health Service.
You may also be responsible for other suppliers of drinking-water at the event.
If the drinking-water is not approved (or you have not allowed sufficient time for the approval process) you will have to find an alternative source of approved drinking-water, or postpone the event. This may also affect any required alcohol licences because free drinking-water is a legal requirement when alcohol is provided at an event.
How to seek permission
- contact the Drinking-Water Team (DWT) at Nelson Marlborough Health's Public Health Service
- ask for a 'WS03 notification form' or download one from the Ministry of Health website
- submit your completed form to the DWT at least 14 days (10 working days) prior to the event
Why you need to seek permission
- under the Health (Drinking-Water) Amendment Act (HDWAA) Section 69ZI there is a duty to advise a Medical Officer of Health at your Public Health Service if you intend to supply drinking-water at an event for more than 25 persons
- this helps protect people from the risks of pathogenic organisms that are commonly found in untreated, unboiled water
- should event attendees contract an infection or disease then your notification (and compliance with any set specified conditions) could help your defence by demonstrating due diligence
- under Section 69 ZZR (3)(g) a person who fails to advise the Medical Officer of Health may, upon summary conviction, be liable to a fine of up to $5,000.
- Summary of Temporary Drinking Water Supplies (legislation information)
- Health Act legislation v Alcohol legislation for drinking water
- Marlborough District Council event toolkit
- View information on sterilising drinking water containers
Nelson Marlborough Public Health Service Drinking Water Team
Phone: Nelson/Richmond 03 543 7931 or Blenheim 03 520 9914
Page last updated: 29/03/2016