AQ Assured by AsureQuality, New Zealand’s Government-owned food assurance company.
This product is produced in New Zealand.
The water comes directly from a natural aquifer (an underground layer of water-bearing permeable rock, through which water can be extracted) in the Hawke's bay Region on the eastern side of New Zealand.
The Hawke's Bay region is known for its farming, horticulture (apples, stone-fruit, vegetables), wine and tourism industries.
HawkeSpring water holds a New Zealand Made License. Product ID: 115668 which grants HawkesSpring the right to label the product with the 'NZ Made' Trademark
There are systems in place throughout the supply chain to ensure that each carton of water meets high standards of safety and quality.
Select any part of the supply chain to view the activities and assurances at each step.
The Heretaunga plains are around 300 square kilometers in size located at the southern end of Hawke Bay, the plain was formed from sediments of gravel, sand, silts and clay's deposited by the Ngaruroro, Tukituki and Tutaekuri rivers over the last 250,000 years.
Permeable gravel beds have formed aquifers beneath the plains.
The water used in the HawkeSpring product is sourced from the Heretaunga aquifer which at its deepest lies around 300 meters under ground.
The Heretaunga aquifer is mainly recharged from the Ngaruroro river, fed from the Ruahine ranges where water permeates both downward and horizontally to recharge the aquifer.
Time travel of water through the aquifer varies from years, to decades to hundreds of years.
The quality of water is checked against specifications prior to bottling.
The purpose built bottling facility is located in Tamoana, on the Heretaunga Plains in the Hawkes Bay region of New Zealand and was opened in 2015.
The factory holds a license to remove an allocation of water from the aquifer.
The volume and speed of water removal is strictly controlled and subject to audit processes.
The factory operates under a Customised Food Control Plan which is audited by an independent third party, Government owned AsureQuality.
A pressurised bore brings the cold artesian water from deep within the aquifer directly into the factory.
Samples of water are tested at each stage using both in-house (factory) and at an external accredited laboratory to ensure compliance.
The product is filtered then aseptically filled under vacuum into 7 litre bags and placed into cartons (containing 2x 7L bags).
Cartons are individually coded for traceability, then stacked onto pallets and stretch wrapped ready for shipping.
The containers of product are delivered from the factory to the wharf.
The transport company that makes this delivery has a current New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) Risk Managemant Plan (RMP).
The transport company is audited regularly by accredited personnel to ensure standards are being met and maintained.
The approved shipping company receive the containers at the wharf and prepare the shipment.
New Zealand and China have a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) signed between the People’s Republic of China and New Zealand in 2008, the first free trade agreement that China has signed with any developed country.
The shipping company must ensure that the products are accompanied by all EAD (export accompanied documents) that is required by the importing country, including:
• A NZ-China FTA Certificate of Origin, which is designed to give assurance to China Customs that the product is produced in New Zealand and complies with the FTA with China.
• Customs documents
• Health Certificates (are issued by the NZ Ministry of Primary Industries, to ensure the product complies with both the NZ Food Regulations and Chinese Government Requirements)
• Certificates of Analysis (contain actual laboratory results from chemical, microbial and physical tests)
• Any other documentation required by the importing country must be completed and approved before it can be loaded on-board (this includes import permits and registration with the General Administration of the Peoples Republic of China for Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine AQSIQ)
The product is shipped to China and checked by China Customs on arrival. China Customs check the import documentation to confirm all requirements have been met and may test the product again prior to releasing it into the country
Once cleared the product is sent to the warehouse.
The products arrive at the warehouse where they are managed using barcoding and traceability systems.
No product leaves the warehouse until it receives a final quality check.
The AQ Assured™ brand and QR code are available for consumers to scan in order to be sure of the safety and quality measures undertaken throughout the product supply chain.
To ensure sustainability of the resource, the amount of water removed from the aquifer is strictly controlled by the New Zealand Government and Local Authourities under a licensed allocation of water to the bottling facility.
Water consented for bottling accounts for for less than 0.12% of the Heretaunga aquifer from where this water is sourced.
Aquifers are made up of confined and unconfined spaces. The unconfined spaces within the aquifer are connected to rivers, streams and spring systems and taking water from the unconfined spaces can reduce the flow in the river or stream.
The water used in this HawkeSpring product is collected from confined areas within the aquifer which does not affect river flows.
The packaging used in this product is fully recyclable.
The Heretaunga aquifer is a major aquifer system underlying the Heretaunga Plains and is a significant water resource for the Hawke's bay area. Water taken for commercial use is strictly controlled under an allocated consent issued by the Local Authority to ensure sustainability of the resource.
The aquifer and river are an important part of the cultural heritage of local Iwi (Ngati Kahungunu) with the river being taonga (a treasured possession)
The Heretaunga aquifer is a living ecosystem which is biologically diverse and provides important ecosystem functions including water purification and flood control.
All water suppliers in New Zealand have a duty of care to ensure that their water is safe to drink.
Bottled water in New Zealand is classified as a Food and is covered by the Food Act 2014. It is regulated at a government level by Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) and the standards contained within FSANZ Code 2.6.2
Water is tested at all stages from extraction through to bottling using both in-house and external accredited laboratories to ensure compliance to specifications.
Third party independent audits are conducted by Government owned AsureQuality on behalf of the Ministry for Primary Industry (MPI) to ensure compliance to the New Zealand Regulations.