QLDC water deal reached

A tentative agreement has been reached between the Queenstown Lakes District Council and the Government for $9.48 million to improve water quality.

The money would come from central government to improve drinking water, wastewater and storm water management.

Councillors agreed to sign a memorandum of understanding during an extraordinary meeting on Thursday, but several raised concerns over the Government-led Three Waters Delivery Reform Programme.

In July, Government announced a national $761 million funding package to maintain and improve water infrastructure, in recognition of the fact local authorities may have depleted resources following Covid-19.

The proposal was to explore use of "larger scale providers" to realise "significant economic, public health, [and] environmental" benefits, the council paper said.

Queenstown council is entitled to $4.74 million local funding and a share of the wider $20.6 million regional funding, which the Government has suggested is another $4.74 million.

However, the money would only be given to QLDC if a funding agreement and delivery plan could be finalised by September 30.

Several councillors raised concerns over QLDC relinquishing valuable assets to an outside agency, especially after the council had only just approved its own "three waters" bylaws.

Cr Niamh Shaw was concerned the new bodies paved the way for "privatisation".

The council paper said the "Government’s starting intention is for publicly-owned multi-regional model", but a final decision would be taken after discussion with local and regional councils.


Add a Comment



Our journalists are your neighbours

We are the South's eyes and ears in crucial council meetings, at court hearings, on the sidelines of sporting events and on the frontline of breaking news.

As our region faces uncharted waters in the wake of a global pandemic, Otago Daily Times continues to bring you local stories that matter.

We employ local journalists and photographers to tell your stories, as other outlets cut local coverage in favour of stories told out of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

You can help us continue to bring you local news you can trust by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter