Council Welcomes Tourism Infrastructure Funding
The Hurunui District Council is delighted with today’s announcement from the Government that its application for funding from the Tourism Infrastructure Fund for the Hanmer Wastewater Disposal Project has been approved. The council will receive $2.25m from the first round of funding, which sees $14.9 million invested in tourism infrastructure around the country.
The council has worked with the community to develop a wastewater disposal to land option. The prioritisation of earthquake repairs incurred in the November 2016 Hurunui-Kaikoura earthquake sequence put the funding for this project in jeopardy. This tourism infrastructure funding will see the development of this scheme, which will help the council to manage the pressures increased tourism numbers are placing on wastewater infrastructure.
Chief Executive Officer, Hamish Dobbie, says the funding allocation will allow the council to continue to grow the tourism market in the Hurunui which relies heavily on the inflow to Hanmer Springs.
“Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools and Spa patronage in the last financial year was 546,000 people, and has increased 1.5% per annum over the last 7 years. The development of a wastewater disposal to land scheme will allow the township to deal with the continual increase in tourist numbers it is currently seeing, in an environmentally-friendly manner.”
It is proposed that a block of approximately 50ha of land is purchased and the necessary underground infrastructure and a wastewater irrigation system are installed. This will result in the treated wastewater being pumped from the existing treatment ponds to the disposal block and irrigated to the land.
Mayor Winton Dalley says improving infrastructure for Hanmer Springs will mean the township can easily cope with a predicted further increase in visitor numbers each year, and this can only be positive for the area.
“More tourists for Hanmer Springs will mean greater economic growth for the town’s businesses. I look forward to the development of this scheme and seeing the positive impacts on water infrastructure and business growth in Hanmer Springs.”
The council is extremely grateful to the Government for selecting its application to be included in the first round of funding of the fund. It is pleasing to see investment in key infrastructure that allows us to attract and cope with greater tourism growth.