Water in New Zealand cities and towns is treated to drinking quality, so you can rely on water from the tap. Dams and reservoirs can run low, especially in late summer, but generally water is freely available. Local councils administer the water supply and will let you know about any restrictions. In some rural areas, homes collect their own rainwater in tanks or use underground bores.
Most regional councils charge for the water they supply – rates vary from region to region. If you own your home, the cost is added to your rates (council tax) as water rates. In some areas, homes have water usage meters too. Tenants in these properties pay for the water they use, while the owner covers the other charges.