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$154 Million To Improve Small Water Supplies

Media Release

2 June 2006

Ministry of Health To Improve Small Water Supplies over Next Decade with $154 Million

The Government believes community drinking-water supplies should be safe and of good quality no matter where they are.

People living in small communities around the country will soon be able to find out if their community qualifies for government assistance to upgrade their drinking-water supply.

In May 2005, the Government committed $154 million (GST incl) over 10 years to improve small drinking-water supplies. The Drinking-water Assistance Programme has been developed by the Ministry of Health over the last year.

A discussion document Criteria for Capital Assistance for Small Drinking-water Supplies has been released and now Ministry officials are touring the country holding at a series of public meetings to make sure people become familiar with the document, and can have a say on what is contained in it.

The document outlines options for deciding on which communities could receive funding, how much they could receive and what it can be used for. It also outlines what steps are necessary before funding can be provided.

Drinking-water Assistance Programme Leader Jim Graham says, "large towns and cities generally have good safe drinking water. This is not always the case in small towns and communities. We want to enable the small water supplies in rural areas to also have a high standard".

"The Ministry has set up a Technical Assistance Programme which offers advice to small water suppliers on the operation, management and upgrading of their water supplies and will provide assistance to help them write their Public Health Risk Management Plans. If this programme shows that capital development is needed, small water suppliers can then apply for a share of the $150 million available over the next ten years," says Jim Graham.

Small water supplies including those owned by local councils, servicing a population of up to 5,000 are eligible to apply for funding.

Mr Graham says, "safe drinking water has a much wider effect on the community than just for the purposes of drinking, washing and cooking. Making sure every New Zealander has access to safe drinking water also supports other Ministry programmes such as the Healthy Eating Healthy Action programme (HEHA).

"For example, if we want to discourage children from drinking sugar based drinks at school, we must ensure that schools which have their own drinking-water supply have a safe supply"

"The programme also helps to achieve the Ministry's goal of reducing inequalities in health between communities, by ensuring that all communities have access to safe drinking-water", says Jim Graham.

He says "it's important that as many people as possible turn up to the meetings and make submissions on the Discussion Document as it proposes a number of criteria for determining which drinking-water supplies are eligible to receive capital assistance to improve their supply system".

"All submissions we receive will help to finalise the structure of the capital assistance criteria. Our aim is to ensure that we have input from a wide range of the communities, councils and others we seek to assist".


To view the document online please use the link below -

[link]


ENDS

Questions and Answers on the Ministry of Health's Drinking Water Assistance Programme

Who is eligible for capital assistance?

The answer to this question will be guided by the responses to the consultation programme on eligibility. The assistance programme is for all community water supplies that have a population of fewer than 5000 people. The supplies must be owned and operated by local residential communities or local or regional councils, excluding city councils.

If I have any queries on the Drinking-water Assistance Programme, who do I speak to ?

For any further information on the Ministry of Health Drinking-Water Assistance Programme, please contact your Public Health Service who will put you in contact with your TAP Facilitator.

How do you apply for capital assistance?

To apply for capital assistance, a water supplier must first participate in the The Technical Assistance Programme. This will assist the water supplier to write a Public Health Risk Management Plan. The water supplier can apply to the Ministry of Health for capital assistance if a need for capital upgrading has been identified by participation in the technical programme.

What do I have to do, to participate in the Technical Assistance Programme (TAP)?

You can apply to join the programme by completing a simple form which is available from the Drinking-Water Assessment Unit, at your local Public Health Service. Speak to the TAP Facilitator who will explain what is involved in the TAP and work closely with you during the programme. These forms will also be available at the public meeting venues.

What is a TAP Facilitator ?

The drinking-water assistance programme will be delivered through the Public Health Services. TAP Facilitators are qualified drinking-water assessors who will provide assistance and guidance for small drinking-water suppliers. There will be approximately 10 TAP Facilitators around the country and they can be contacted via your local public health service.

-

A Schedule of the Drinking-water Assistance Programme Roadshows are listed below -

Tuesday June 6 Masterton 6.00-8.00pm Copthorne Solway Park Hotel, High St South, Masterton

Wednesday June 7 Palmerston North 6.00-8.00pm Kingsgate Hotel, 110 Fitzherbert Ave, Palmerston North

Thursday June 8 New Plymouth 6.00-8.00pm Quality Hotel Plymouth International Hotel, Cnr Courtney & Leach Sts,

New Plymouth

Monday June 12 Greymouth 6.00-8.00pm The Ashley Hotel, 74 Tasman St, Greymouth

Tuesday June 13 Nelson 6.00-8.00pm Trailways Motor Inn, 66 Trafalgar St, Nelson

Wednesday June 14 Kaikoura 6.00-8.00pm Encounter Kaikoura, 98 Esplanade, Kaikoura

Monday June 26 Kaikohe 6.00-8.00pm Kaikohe Memorial Hall, Memorial Drive, Kaikohe

Tuesday June 27 Whangarei 6.00-8.00pm Forum North Conference Centre, Rust Ave, Whangarei

Wednesday June 28 Orewa 6.00-8.00pm Orewa Rotary House, 4 Hibiscus Coast Highway, Silverdale, Orewa

Thursday June 29 Pukekohe 4.00-6.00pm Counties Inn Hotel, 17 Paerate Rd, Pukekohe

Monday July 3 Ashburton 6.00-8.00pm Hotel Ashburton, Racecourse Rd, Ashburton

Monday July 3 Whakatane 6.00-8.00pm Whakatane War Memorial Hall, Rex Morpeth Park, Short St, Whakatane

Tuesday July 4 Oamaru 6.00-8.00pm Kingsgate Hotel Brydone, 115 Thames St, Oamaru

Tuesday July 4 Gisborne 6.00-8.00pm Gisborne Hotel, cnr Tyndall & Huxley Rds, Gisborne

Wednesday July 5 Balclutha 6.00-8.00pm Rosebank Lodge, 265 Clyde St, Balclutha

Wednesday July 5 Napier 6.00-8.00pm Napier War Memorial Conference Centre, 48 Marine Parade, Napier

Thursday July 6 Gore 12.30-2.30pm Scenic Circle Crydon Hotel, Main Queenstown Highway, Gore

Thursday July 6 Queenstown 6.00-8.00pm Kingsgate Hotel Terraces, 48 Franktown Rd, Queenstown

Thursday July 6 Taupo 6.00-8.00pm Lakeland Resort, 282 Lake Terrace, Taupo

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