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27 July 2022

Masterton District Council is asking residents how it should spend $3.88 million in funding being offered by the Government as part of the ‘Better Off’ support package in the Three Waters Reforms.

In April, the Government announced that councils could apply for the first instalment (Tranche 1) of the ‘Better Off’ funding from July 2022, with applications closing 30 on September 2022.

In May and June, the Council shortlisted projects that would meet the funding criteria, and it is now asking for community feedback, Chief Executive David Hopman said.

Feedback being sought focuses on two areas:

  • Should the Council apply for ‘Better Off’ funding under Tranche 1?
  • If so, which of the 11 proposed projects should be prioritised?

“The 11 options we have included for consideration came from a much longer list of projects council staff and elected members had put forward,” Mr Hopman said.  “These were reviewed down to the projects we are asking for feedback on.

“There are strict eligibility criteria, so the options we are looking at are those that meet the criteria and we think will make a difference for our community. We also need to balance the range of projects and make sure we can deliver the programme.”

Eligible projects must either support community wellbeing, build resilience to climate change and natural hazards, and/or assist housing development.

The 11 projects are:

  • Targeted wastewater renewals – $1 million p.a. for 2 Years = $2 million total.
  • Trust House Recreation Centre and War Memorial Stadium assessment, including feasibility of a splash pad – $120,000
  • Mobile EV library – $350,000
  • Animal shelter enhancements – $500,000
  • Planting for biodiversity and fish passages (primarily at the Mākoura Stream and Homebush) – $200,000
  • Mana whenua partnership/climate resilience project – $575,000
  • Seed funding to attract an on-demand bus service – $100,000
  • Urban safe active transport trails (incorporating historic walking paths) – business case and detailed plans – $50,000
  • Air quality actions scope and business case – $100,000
  • Pūkaha Mount Bruce National Wildlife Centre (project contribution) – $200,000
  • Climate change activator for three years – $250,000

Masterton’s share of the funding across both tranches totals $15.5 million.

Tranche 2 of the ‘Better Off’ funding, $11.62 million, is scheduled to become available from 1 July 2024, and will be part of a discussion the new Council will have with the community.

The survey on the ‘Better Off’ funding priorities is available through the Council website here.

Hard copies of the survey are available at the Council’s office at 161 Queen Street, and Masterton District Library.

The survey closes on 14 August.

Further information on the Government’s Three Waters ‘Better Off’ support package can be found here.