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Wellington Water fills the information gaps


Just over $1 million of the government’s three waters stimulus funding will be used to cover South Wairarapa’s water budget blowout.

But councillors were critical of a lack of information regarding how the stimulus funding had been spent to date.

A report by council staff did not include how much money was granted in the stimulus and how it had been allocated.

However, a report presented to the Wellington Water committee on Friday filled in the blanks.

The report, prepared on March 4 by the programme manager of stimulus funding Natalie Crane, said South Wairarapa District Council was allocated $2.8m in the funding package.

This money was to be spent over the 2020-22 financial years.

As of the end of February, $2.04m had been spent.

There was previously a March deadline for the stimulus funding to be spent, but this was extended to June.

Crane said $1.055m of the funding had been spent on capital works: “This is largely the capital renewals of water mains carried out in Featherston”.

About $482,000 had been spent on operations and maintenance, $278,000 on asset condition assessments, $109,000 on “capability and organisational development, asset management improvements, and preparation for water reform”, and $116,000 on programme delivery.

The remaining $761,000 was to be mainly spent on asset condition assessments and operations and maintenance.

By the time South Wairarapa District Council met last week to approve the use of the stimulus funding to cover the operational expenditure blowout, the council staff report said all the $2.8m had been spent or committed.

Councillors were also critical of the limited figures and information available to break down the operational funding blowout.

This information would be collated and reported back to elected members. — NZLDR

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