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Council welcomes funding to protect key water supply for Central Hawke’s Bay


Central Hawke’s Bay District Council welcomes the Government announcement confirming $2.5 million of funding to help protect the water supply of around 3,200 people in Waipawa and Otāne. 

Funding will cover the cost of replacing and upgrading a stopbank near the Waipawa Drinking Water Treatment Plant, which was destroyed during Cyclone Gabrielle and left the plant vulnerable to flooding and the community to a boil water notice in heavy rain since. 

Mayor of Central Hawke’s Bay District Council Alex Walker said, “This funding will provide immediate protection to the water supply of businesses and residents relying on this drinking water supply.

“Without it, about 20 percent of local businesses, households and whānau in Central Hawke’s Bay remain at the mercy of the Waipawa River during heavy rainfall; this brings a heightened risk of plant failure, high turbidity (reduced clarity) in the water and the need for a boil water notice. 

“Beyond securing safe drinking water and immediate peace of mind, it allows us to rebuild the stopbank to a higher level of resilience, which is crucial in the face of climate change. It will also provide longer-term benefits for a project we have underway to secure a second supply for 4,700 people in Waipukurau.

This funding solves a key issue affecting Central Hawke’s Bay, but there is still much to be done in order to balance replacement and repair of existing infrastructure with repairs to damage caused by Cyclone Gabrielle.

“Delivering everything we are tasked with is becoming an increasingly unsustainable and unrealistic challenge for our ratepayers to fund which means making some difficult decisions about when and how we deliver key projects. We are tasked with servicing the debt Council already holds, and spreading additional spend over time, to lessen the burden on a single generation.

“Funding such as this is a huge step in the right direction – it gives us the ability to deliver a reliable and safe drinking water supply to the communities of Waipawa and Otāne.  We are so thankful for a partnership which allows us to secure access to a vital water source.”

Read the full article from MP for Wairarapa and Minister of Local Government Kieran McAnulty here.

22 September 2023

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