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Cautious welcome for water funding offer - Selwyn District Council

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Selwyn District Council has welcomed yesterday’s announcement by the government of the first stage of an economic stimulus package as part of the next stage in three waters reform.

The government announced it was making $100 million of funding available for Canterbury councils that agree to take part in discussions on forming new regional bodies to manage drinking, waste and storm water.

Under the announcement, Selwyn would receive an initial $5.33 million of funding for water infrastructure projects and a share of a further $50 million, if it signs a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to take part in discussions with the government and other South Island councils on the options for this reform.

Councils have until 31 August to decide if they will sign the MOU.

The Council welcomes the announcement of the package, but there is a long way to go in the ongoing discussions on water reforms, Mayor Sam Broughton says.

""Good quality water services are the back bone of what we do here in Selwyn and we pride ourselves on having some of the newest and best quality water infrastructure in New Zealand. This stimulus package offers meaningful funding that would allow us to build on this foundation and develop our network of water service facilities.

‘We are grateful that this initial funding comes with no binding commitment to sign up to any particular new collective water management organisation in the long term. It gives us the breathing space for our council to decide what will work best for Selwyn in the long run.’

"The proposed reforms would be a fundamental change in the way that water is looked after and delivered to people in Selwyn and across New Zealand. We owe it to our people to carefully consider whether this is the best option to make sure they have a high-quality, safe, clean and secure system"

Mr Broughton says Selwyn will continue to work with other Councils to better understand the role and merits of any new organisation, which would manage water services on a regional basis. The funding would also help support that work, he says.

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