Scoop has an Ethical Paywall
Work smarter with a Pro licence Learn More

Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


Waters Infrastructure Projects Better Off Thanks To Redirected Funding

More than $3.2million of external funding will be redirected into Kaipara District’s waters infrastructure budget after Council deciding to redirect existing uncommitted Better Off and Transition Support funding.

The decision to redirect the funding was triggered by an update on the next stage of Local Water Done Well (LWDW) from the Minister of Local Government at the end of April this year. The Minister gave direction to Councils on any uncommitted externally funded Better Off and the Transition Support funds be redirected towards three waters infrastructure and to support the Government direction on LWDW.

A sum of $500,000 is set aside from this external funding to support transition to the new LWDW delivery model and $3,248,500 is being redirected to waters projects across Kaipara district.

The decision means the scope for community hubs projects outlined in the Long Term Plan (LTP) has reduced and now consenting and initial site works are no longer achievable. Staff have emphasised that further community engagement, conceptual designs, and land feasibility studies for the hubs will be completed using $404,000 of Better Off funding previously approved by Council.

Council is looking to fund the build of the Mangawhai community hub using future development contributions and debt and is looking at the establishment of a Trust to help support the build of the Dargaville Hub.

Whilst disappointed, Council needed to change the use of this funding after already engaging with community on the hubs. Mayor Craig Jepson is pleased that essential projects that would otherwise be funded by debt, could use the money, easing the burden on Kaipara ratepayers.

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading

Are you getting our free newsletter?

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.

"I’m thrilled that this funding can go towards essential waters projects, lessening the impact on residents’ water bills,” says Mayor Jepson. “We will still be able to progress aspects of the community hubs projects with the funding already approved.”

Of the funding redirected to waters projects, $500,000 will replace Council funding of water systems renewals, as well as an additional $100,000 to undertake this work. This programme of work will be undertaken across the district, where renewals are needed to ensure reliable supply of drinking water.

The Maungaturoto Treatment Plant upgrade will receive $1,600,000, increasing that budget by $100,000 and improving the resilience of Maungaturoto water networks.

A further $248,000 will be invested in wastewater systems renewals that will stretch across the entire district.

Lastly, additional funding of $800,000 will go towards detailed design, resource consent, and construction of subsurface irrigation at the Mangawhai Golf Course.

Currently, treated wastewater from the plant on Thelma Road South flows some 13 kilometres to Kaipara District Council’s Brown Road farm effluent pond, where it is then irrigated onto paddocks. The farm is nearing its capacity for storage and irrigation.

Kaipara District Council General Manager of Infrastructure Services, Anin Nama, says prioritising subsurface irrigation at the Mangawhai Golf Course will relieve pressure on the Mangawhai Community Wastewater Scheme.

“It’s no secret that Mangawhai has a growing population,” says Anin. “There is an opportunity here to implement subsurface irrigation at Mangawhai Golf Course. By doing this soon, it can be timed with works they already have planned, reducing the overall cost to Council.”

Irrigation of treated wastewater at the course has been in the pipeline since 2022 after the solution was identified in the Mangawhai Community Wastewater Scheme (MWWS) – Master Plan Strategy. The Strategy sets out a plan for upgrades to Mangawhai’s wastewater network to meet the needs of the town for the next 30 years.

About Transition Support funding

A maximum amount of $647,000 Council Transition Support funding was made available for Kaipara district to contribute to resourcing transition-related activities. There is $112,500 of unpaid funding remaining that can be used for three waters infrastructure and to support the Government direction on LWDW.

About the Better Off funding

Better off Funding was part of the previous government’s Affordable Waters Reform to recognise the significance to the local government sector (and their communities) of the transfer of responsibility for water service delivery. The purpose was to support councils to transition to their new role post-reform.

To be eligible, it was required funding be used to:

  • help transition communities to a sustainable and low-emissions economy; or
  • deliver infrastructure or services that enable housing development and growth; or
  • deliver infrastructure or services that support local place-making and improvements in community well-being.

The funding criteria did not allow for money to be spent on roading, any waters infrastructure or other operational costs.

Kaipara District Council prepared a staged plan to get community hubs designed and consented to ‘shovel ready’ stage using the Better Off funding.

View the Council discussion and decision on the Kaipara District Council YouTube channel (from 40:27)

© Scoop Media

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines




InfoPages News Channels


Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.