Following two workshops, the Council agreed on projects to be submitted to the Department of Home Affairs for “better off funding” under the government’s Three Waters Reform. $2.79 million is being made available to Westland District Council in tranche 1 of the funding round. The councils had until September 30 but we obtained an extension until October 31, 2022 to submit our applications.
The Better off Package is a Crown investment in the future of local government and community well-being in recognition of the importance to the local government sector (and the communities they serve)
the transfer of responsibility for the supply of the water service. Boards must use the funding to transition into their new role after reform by meeting some or all of the following criteria:
Help communities transition to a sustainable, low-emissions economy, including building resilience to climate change and natural hazards.
· Provision of infrastructure and/or services that enable housing development and growth, with emphasis on brownfields and infill development opportunities where available.
· Provision of infrastructure and/or services that support the creation of local places and the enhancement of community well-being.
Managing Director Simon Bastion says: “It took a lot of thought and debate to narrow down the projects, as there are so many areas that could benefit from the funding. We have been very pleased with the number of questionable funding requests that the Council wants to devote to community projects. Resilience and self-sufficiency in the event of a natural disaster is clearly very important to the communities around Westland, as the highest number of funding requests were for projects that support them.
We look forward to a positive outcome for the application. Our new Board will be challenged to anticipate the review of Tranche 2 funding in 2024 and the projects that will meet the criteria.
The Board intends to submit an application for:
$500,000 for cultural and heritage projects, including work on the Hokitika Regent Theater, work at Westland Industrial Heritage Park, interpretive signs for cultural and heritage sites in Westland, a technical inspection report on the Hokitika Clocktower, funding for Westland 2023 anniversary projects.
$900,000 to continue community hall improvement projects initiated through Covid-19 stimulus funding.
· $200,000 to prepare communities for resilience in the face of natural disasters.
$690,000 for township improvements
$500,000 to fund community projects:
o Lazar Park room upgrade
o Civil defense planning and infrastructure for Lake Kaniere, Kumara, Whataroa, Ross, Hari Hari and Otira.
o Indoor arena surface and electrical equipment for West Coast Riding for the Disabled.
o Memorial Arboretum at Fox Glacier Community Hall
o Gentle Annie track extension.
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