HDC accepts stimulus funding for Three Waters delivery
At a Council meeting this morning, Thursday August 27th, Councillors voted in favour of signing a Memorandum of Understanding, (MOU) and separate Funding Agreement under which, Hurunui District Council (HDC) will receive part of the $761 million of COVID-19 funding from Central Government to be spent on the Three Waters and support economic recovery.
Under the agreements, HDC will receive a grant of up to $7.5 million to upgrade its Three Waters assets, and in return it will provide the Government with more details of its Three Waters operations and assets, and engage with the Government on its proposal for future Three Waters services.
HDC CEO Hamish Dobbie said signing the agreements commits HDC to providing the Government details of its Three Waters assets and services, and engaging with the Government on its future plans for Three Waters, but it does not mean the Council is handing over control of its Three Waters assets and services.
“If at some stage in the future, Council proposes changes to the governance or delivery of its Three Waters services, it is committed to undertake full public consultation, in order to better understand the views of our community.”
He emphasised the agreements are not binding on either party and it was the Council’s view that entering into the agreements was in the best interests of Hurunui ratepayers.
“In the meantime, this money provides the opportunity to bring forward our water services' delivery plans.”
Council also instructed officers to bring back a proposed delivery plan to the September meeting to firm up the works to be undertaken under the Funding Agreement.
The New Zealand Government is proposing a nationwide reform of Three Waters service delivery arrangements, envisaging the setting up of one to five water authorities nationwide.
Currently, delivery of water services in each district is the responsibility of the local territorial authority.