4 Aug 2020

Canterbury to get bulk of three waters funding package

4:06 pm on 4 August 2020

Canterbury will get the most money from the government's multi-million dollar package to fix New Zealand's three waters problem.

Flooding Canterbury (Greendale)

Flooding in Canterbury in 2017. The three waters funding focuses three areas - drinking water, storm water and waste water. Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King

It is part of a $761 million nationwide fund. Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced the funding allocation today.

"Councils are keen to get on with investing in critical water infrastructure and services and stimulate the local economy. Today we are announcing the funding formula to support councils and regions in the distribution of Three Waters funding grants,'' she said.

Canterbury councils will get their share of $100m. The Gisborne region will get the least, at just more than $11m.

The funding is allocated through a formula based on population and land area.

"Investing in water infrastructure is about investing in the health of New Zealanders. Infrastructure investment is a key component in the government's five-point economic plan to recover from Covid," Mahuta said.

"Four years ago, more than 5000 people got sick and up to four died in the Havelock North campylobacter outbreak and we don't want to see that happen again."

Minister for Maori Development and Local Government Nanaia Mahuta.

Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta. Photo: RNZ / Richard Tindiller

But no funding has been announced for Auckland - ministers were still considering the package and approach for the country's biggest city as the council was further along in service arrangements.

"I'm pleased to reiterate that of the $761m, an allocation of $51m will go to support Taumata Arowai, the new water regulator," Mahuta said.

"Today's announcement also provides $30m to help non-council rural water supplies to meet costs in the face of the new regulatory regime for drinking water."

To get the cash, councils must sign up to the government's three waters reform programme and the funding agreement with the Crown, as well as the memorandum of understanding by 31 August.

Each regional group of territorial authorities have until 30 September to agree on how best to apportion the regional funds to the individual territorial authorities that make up the region.

Hawke's Bay would get a bit more than its allocation because of its leadership in exploring the reform, but it is far less than the $361m it had applied for.

Mayors in the region called it a "welcome first step".

Who's getting what :

  • Northland - $28.26m
  • Waikato - $66.61m
  • Bay of Plenty - $42.23m
  • Gisborne - $11.04m
  • Hawke's Bay - $50.00m
  • Taranaki - $17.89m
  • Manawatū-Whanganui - $40.54m
  • Wellington - $59.80m
  • Tasman-Nelson-Marlborough - $28.02m
  • West Coast - $15.25m
  • Canterbury - $100.00m
  • Otago - $41.20m
  • Southland - $22.31m

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