Councils to consider multi-million dollar funding

Western Bay of Plenty Mayor Garry Webber. File photo/SunLive.

More than $160 million has been allocated for the Bay of Plenty as part of the Government’s $2.5 billion water reform package.

On Thursday, the Government announced that Western Bay of Plenty District Council would receive $21.3 million as part of the $2.5 billion Three Waters Reform package, which at this stage remains voluntary.

Tauranga City is set to receive $48.4 million from the package that the Government says is designed to stimulate local economies while creating jobs and unlocking infrastructure for housing.

Western Bay of Plenty District Council remains open-minded on the Government’s Three Waters proposal despite a multi-million dollar financial incentive.

Western Bay Mayor Garry Webber welcomes assurances no community would be worse off financially through the reforms, but says Council will take its time to look at this carefully and work with the Western Bay community.

He says Local Government New Zealand has been working with Central Government for decades to find a better way to fund Three Waters infrastructure and believes things are at a crossroads because the current system is not working and everyone agrees change can be made.

“For Western Bay we still have an open mind. We are encouraged by the information given, but will take our time over the coming months to ensure we work with our community to gauge their understanding of the need for change,” says Garry.

“The financial incentive is just one piece of this proposed reform. There is plenty more information to be worked through before we have a robust picture of what the final outcome will be.

“This is the most complex change in local government for 30 years, and so it is important this is a decision that is not rushed. We also need to understand this impact alongside other reform like the Future of Local Government.”

He reiterates that Council has done well to look after its water infrastructure, by investing at the right times and in turn providing a good service to its residents.

“Our infrastructure is in a good state and this reflects the major investments we have made in the past. Our assets are modern and well maintained and we are committed to ensuring this continues now and into the future.”

Tauranga City Council Commission chair Anne Tolley says following the Government’s Thursday announcement, they will be “carefully considering all the details”.

Anne Tolley. File photo/John Borren/SunLive.

She says the Council will soon be adopting Tauranga’s 2021-31 long-term plan (LTP), which recognises the need for significant investment in the city’s community facilities and infrastructure, including ongoing investment in water, wastewater and stormwater improvements.

“We will carefully consider the detail of this announcement, but our initial thinking is that the $48 million allocated to Tauranga should be utilised to promote the broader wellbeing of our community, as it has been mapped-out through the LTP,” says Anne.



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Auckland watercare asset value 11 billion alone !

Posted on 17-07-2021 14:00 | By Kancho

Auckland ratepayers own $ 11 billion it runs as a trading enterprise owned by Auckland


Posted on 17-07-2021 13:48 | By Kancho

Will be interesting what Auckland thinks of the 2.5 billion offered for the whole of NZ to share like a lollie scrame. Watercare runs an operation for Auckland with nearer 4 billion alone in assets owned by ratepayers. Multi billions of assets throughout NZ to become four trading enterprises. We have yet to see any successful reform delivery in any area yet. Time will tell , still struggle in so many many areas all needing mega money ...print some more or borrow more ?


Posted on 17-07-2021 11:19 | By

Take time Mayor Garry - take all the time you need and a bit more.

I have, oceans

Posted on 17-07-2021 09:59 | By R. Bell

and they are admirable goals for a world in need of change. We can opt out and become "fortress NZ" but watch our trade suffer. Tauranga can opt out too but don’t expect favour from the rest of NZ. For better or worse we are part of the larger community. If you think things are bad now, just wait until fortress Tauranga has needs beyond its means.


Posted on 17-07-2021 08:52 | By dumbkof2

all the photos you see of these people they are smiling and laughing while on their way to the bank


Posted on 16-07-2021 19:01 | By

What has the Council got to consider. They are being told by central Government that this is what you are going to get and that is it. Like the new bins. It is not the Council that has decided to have bins, it is central Government. The central Government are telling Councils and the people of New Zealand what they are going to get and that is final. Ever heard of the UN AGENDA 2030. Well now you know. AND this is only the start. Now are you smacking yourself for voting in the wrong party.

Whats it got to do with council

Posted on 16-07-2021 11:32 | By

I continue to be amazed how people think that it is up to the Council to return the CBD to health. CBD’s globally have all gone through a period of change and challenge, as they change from retail centric to business centric and specific destination shopping. The fact that retailers in the CDB didn’t adapt their businesses can’t be fixed by councils spending rate payer money. Businesses will and are adapting. We have the Farmers building, Uni, new student accommodation, new apartment blocks, talking of a supermarket. What else do you want...... Madness....

A drop in the bucket

Posted on 16-07-2021 10:01 | By Kancho

If government wants to support local government with cash they can after all we all pay tax. But this is giving with one hand and take billions of of infrastructure in the other. . It’s a con job. I don’t trust the government .

Missing something Anne?

Posted on 16-07-2021 09:02 | By nerak

From a report elsewhere today ’a $2.5 billion carrot to incentivise councils to support their WATER reforms’. And you just plough on and translate that to ’should be utilised to promote the broader wellbeing of our community’. You were appointed to improve on the group who were out of control. Who is out of control now? What else are you going to do that is right for Tauranga ratepayers, anything? Why do you think Tauranga downtown is so dead these days? Perhaps because the people go elsewhere for a pleasant experience. And by the time downtown offers that there will be nowhere to park and the people won’t bother coming back. It’ll be all about pretty, not about common sense. Pandering to the whims of a few.