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Council seeks approval for $17M waters stimulus plan

Hamilton City Council today endorsed seeking approval for Government-funded water, wastewater and stormwater stimulus projects in the city worth more than $17M.

Councillor Angela O’Leary, Chair of the Council’s Infrastructure Committee, says the proposals take a ‘whole of city’ approach to looking after the health and wellbeing of residents and managing our most precious natural resource.

Initiatives include $2.5M for environmental projects including gully networks, erosion control and planting, $3M for three-waters infrastructure in Rotokauri, $3.5M for data management and renewals of the city’s systems, $1.45M to identify a ‘best-for-river’ regional wastewater solution, and $1.5M to identify and repair leaks and incorrect connections.

The projects will support economic recovery in the city through job creation and increase or accelerate investment in core water infrastructure. They are part of Hamilton delivery plan as the city plays its part in the Government’s $761M Three Waters Services Reform. In August, Council’s Strategic Growth Committee unanimously agreed to join the first phase of the programme.

Cr O’Leary says successful implementation of the proposals would benefit the city in many ways.

“Water is life. How we manage it, treasure it and respect it will make a real difference to our people and the generations to come.

“We have already committed to working with Government as they look to improve freshwater outcomes, increase resilience to climate change and natural hazards, and enhance community wellbeing.

“That reform programme made $17.46M available to Hamilton for projects supporting these aims. I believe our collective project package meets those aspirations and delivers tremendous value to our ratepayers and our environment,” Cr O’Leary says.

“This funding enables us to take on projects which weren’t part of our Annual Plan budgets, meaning we can do more without asking for more from ratepayers.

“Finding long-term, environmentally-sustainable and resilient solutions to our three waters management is critical to enabling quality growth. Erosion control and gully restoration programmes are key steps in safeguarding our freshwater quality and aquatic life. Finding and fixing leaks means we make the most of the water and the infrastructure we have.

“We all rely on this resource, and a partnership between Government, Council and our community is the best way to tackle the issues we face in waters management.”

Following today’s decision, the Delivery Plan will be assessed by Crown Infrastructure Partners and the Department of Internal Affairs before October 31.

If approved for funding, expenditure on stimulus projects must start no later than March 2021 and be complete by March 2022.

Click here for the full list of projects, agreement documentation and Council report. 

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