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O'connor & Ririnui: Big Boost For Marae And Small Drinking Water Supplies

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

6 August 2008 - The government is committing nearly $7 million to upgrade 44 small community drinking-water supplies, Associate Health Ministers Damien O'Connor and Mita Ririnui announced today.

The funding is for the third round of support provided by the Drinking Water Assistance Programme announced by the Government in 2005 and administered by the Ministry of Health. The programme provides infrastructural funding of $150 million over 10 years to improve the quality of drinking-water in small communities.

"We are delighted to announce this government investment, which will allow more New Zealanders access to consistently clean, safe drinking water," said Mr O'Connor.

"Safe and reliable drinking water is critical for public health and to industries such as tourism. Most people in New Zealand are served by large urban drinking-water supplies that comply with standards. This is another good example of the infrastructural investment this Labour-led government is putting into smaller rural and disadvantaged communities," said Mr O'Connor.

The money will be used to develop new water sources, improve treatment systems and replace aging reticulation systems.

Mita Ririnui said he is particularly pleased that more than $1.5 million of the funding will be allocated to upgrading drinking-water supplies at 23 marae and Maori communities.

"Together with the $1.3 million that was provided to nine marae and Maori communities in 2007 and $3 million earlier this year, this is a significant investment in Maori health.

"Safe, clean water is central to the principle of manaakitanga. This programme ensures the quality of drinking water in Maori communities will be vastly improved," said Mr Ririnui.

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