Clutha District Council will sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Government to undertake a three-year programme to maintain and improve water networks infrastructure and as part of the agreement Council will receive a grant of $3.2 million.
In July 2020 the Government announced an initial funding package of $761 million to provide a post COVID-19 stimulus to maintain and improve the New Zealand’s water networks infrastructure, and support a three-year programme of reform of local government water services delivery arrangements.
The initial funding would be made available to those councils that agreed to participate in the initial stage of the reform programme through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), a Funding Agreement, and an approved Delivery Plan.
Council noted that participation in this initial stage would be undertaken in good faith, but was a non-binding approach, and the Council could opt out of the reform process at the end of the term of the agreement.
At the recent Central/Local Government Forum, central and local government leadership discussed the challenges facing New Zealand’s water service delivery and infrastructure and committed to working jointly on reform. A Joint Central/Local Government Three Waters Steering Committee has been established to provide oversight and guidance to support this work.
This initial funding would be provided in two parts: a direct allocation to individual territorial authorities of $3.2 million, and a regional allocation of $20.6 million.
The participating individual authorities in each region would need to agree on an approach to distributing the regional allocation.
The Delivery Plan must show that the funding was being applied to operating and/or capital expenditure relating to three waters infrastructure and service delivery.
In particular, the Delivery Plan would need to support economic recovery and address persistent systemic issues facing the three waters sector. This would include stimulating investment and assisting economic recovery through job creation, maintaining investment in water infrastructure renewals and maintenance, reforming current water service delivery into larger scale providers to realise significant economic, public health, environmental, and other benefits over the medium to long term.