A delay has been granted for the release of findings into the reasons for last year's Havelock North water contamination.
The gastro outbreak affected over 5000 people and led to the town's water supply being chlorinated.
An inquiry was launched late last year and will now report back to the Government in two stages.
The first will directly address the contamination and the response to it, including finding fault. The inquiry will report back to Attorney-General Chris Finlayson by May 12.
The second part of the inquiry looks at wider issues around the management of water supply across the country.
It will examine the existing regime involved in delivering drinking water to see if improvements can be made – and won't report back until December, well after the general election.
Mr Finlayson says the inquiry needs to be comprehensive to ensure there's a clear understanding of what happened in Havelock North.
"New Zealanders must be able to have confidence that the rules and practices which govern the safety of their drinking water are fit for purpose," Mr Finlayson said.
The extension was requested by the panel for a number of reasons, including a delay caused by legal action between the Hawke's Bay Regional Council and the Hastings District Council and the need to ensure the safety of the town’s water.