The location of New Zealand's best tasting tap water has been revealed, with 13 regions going toe-to-toe to take out the Water Taste Test 2019 champs.

The competition judged water samples on qualities like colour, clarity, odour and mouthfeel during a series of blind taste tests.

With New Zealand tap water quality in the spotlight, the competition, run by Water Industry Operations Group, recognises the hard work of those who ensure safe, clean drinking water is available to Kiwis.

From the three finalists, Timaru District Council was ranked number one, providing the best drop according to the judging panel consisting of New Zealand and Australian judges.


Wellington Water and Waimate District Council were the other two finalists delivering high-quality tap water.

Group chairman Nick Hewer-Hewitt said that the general public would be surprised by the complexities involved in delivering high-quality water to our taps each day.

Photo / Supplied
Photo / Supplied

"The competition is testament to the excellent quality of New Zealand water and to the skill and commitment of the operational employees who deliver it to our communities.

"Many of us turn on taps for a drink, to cook and shower, with little consideration of what it takes to operate and maintain the water infrastructure.

"We want to celebrate our unsung heroes – the water operators and the maintenance crews who work year-round to ensure we have safe water of a consistently high quality."

The awards come just two years after an inquiry into the quality of Kiwis' drinking water.

In 2017 a new report showed at least 721,000 New Zealanders and countless tourists were drinking water that may not have been safe.

The 2017 Government inquiry was into the health crisis in Havelock North in which more than a third of the town's 15,000 people become sick from contaminated drinking water.


The inquiry was scathing on the suppliers - usually the local authority, monitored by the Health Ministry - for not ensuring safe drinking water.

Although water in Auckland and Wellington was safe to drink, elsewhere at least 721,000 Kiwis were drinking water that was "not demonstrably safe".