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Hawke’s Bay gets more than $64m from PGF

Tukituki mid

Nineteen projects across Hawke’s Bay will be made possible by the latest round of PGF investment funding announced today.

The region’s local government leaders welcome the announcement and funds that will flow into the region. The goals of the PGF are closely aligned with Hawke’s Bay’s own regional strategy for economic and social growth, which is to build a regional economy that is sustainable, inclusive and productive.

PGF investment will be distributed from Wairoa to Central Hawke’s Bay, and will fast track new initiatives, with water and infrastructure projects being the major recipients.

Councils have been working solidly for over a year with the Provincial Development Unit to meet its criteria and expectations for these projects, as well as working closely with the private sector to enable their applications. These funding announcements are just the beginning. A number of projects are in the pipeline and the region’s local government leaders look forward to seeing what else is coming for Hawke’s Bay with more announcements expected in the coming months.

PGF investment into Hawke’s Bay is as follows:

  • Wairoa District $9.1 million
  • Napier/Hastings $16.1 million
  • Central Hawke’s Bay $35.5 million
  • Additional Hawke’s Bay funding $3.4 million

(Overall, the PGF is investing $30.6 million into water security projects across the region, which will be administered by the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council.

Alex Walker, Mayor of Central Hawke’s Bay and Chair of the Regional Mayors Forum welcomes the significant investment from PGF into the region.

“Working in collaboration to make the most of Hawke’s Bay’s competitive advantages is a key aspect of our regional economic strategy. Today’s announcements will accelerate a number of projects, which will provide significant infrastructure, pathways to employment and social inclusion across the entire region. It’s a great day for Hawke’s Bay.”

Hawke’s Bay Regional Council Chair Rex Graham says today’s announcement of funding from the Provincial Growth Fund for Hawke’s Bay projects is fantastic news for the region.
“Today’s announcement shows very clearly that by us all working together we can achieve great things for our region.”

Hastings Mayor Sandra Hazlehurst welcomes the PGF funding for the region.

“We are incredibly excited to receive support from the Provincial Growth Fund to assist us to meet our region’s priorities. This support will lift productivity, enhance economic development opportunities, and create sustainable jobs, which will improve the lives and wellbeing of our people.

“We look forward to welcoming the PGF team back in the near future to make further announcements for the private sector,” says Mrs Hazlehurst.
Wairoa Mayor Craig Little says today’s announcement of investment into the region is only the beginning.

“Today we have seen a massive investment from Central Government into our region.

“I congratulate the Hawke’s Bay local authorities and organisations which have had success with their business cases and applications and I know we will continue to work together as a region to make Hawke’s Bay even stronger.
“Wairoa has been working hard to put forward strong business cases and applications to the Provincial Growth Fund for initiatives that will grow our community.

“It is great to have these projects recognised, and we also look forward to future PGF investment opportunities that will help better our community,” says Mr Little.

Faye White, Acting Mayor Napier City Council, says that PGF funding is a game changing opportunity to stimulate economic transformation in the regions.

“The Government’s commitment is potentially for three years only, so we encourage any Hawke’s Bay organisation that is considering applying, to review the investment criteria and start working on their application.
“This window of opportunity is closing soon and as a surge region, Hawke’s Bay is afforded priority. Let’s make the most of this opportunity,” says Mrs White.

Together with the region’s councils, the PGF is funding Business Hawke’s Bay (BHB) to enable Matariki Hawke’s Bay Regional Development Strategy programme management.

BHB Chairman Stu McLachlan says “Effective programme management will support the delivery of Matariki HBRDS to realise the vision of achieving regional development through economic and social growth.”

Breakdown of regional water security funding $30.6 million

The PGF has allocated $30.6 million to four regional water security projects:

  • $2.5 million for a high-resolution, aerial electromagnetic survey of Hawke’s Bay’s aquifers. This 3D mapping will provide a comprehensive picture of the region’s major aquifers down to 300 metres underground, providing detail on their size, how much water is in them, how they are connected to the land and where they might be vulnerable to contamination.
  • $14.7 million to develop ‘Managed Aquifer Recharge’ (MAR) in Central Hawke’s Bay. MAR involves replenishing aquifer levels by taking surface water during high flows (potentially utilising small to medium scale storage), filtering the water and releasing it into aquifers. Work will be undertaken to investigate, develop and introduce an integrated groundwater replenishment programme to more sustainably manage the district’s groundwater systems.
  • $12.9 million to investigate options for small-scale water storage options to supplement water flows in and across the Heretaunga Plains. Having water storage options available would provide greater security of supply to current consent holders and, through the release of water during dry conditions, to mitigate the effects on the environment of ground and surface water extraction.
  • $450,000 (to be matched by HBRC) to produce a regional freshwater assessment, including detailed analysis of the region’s freshwater requirements over the next 30 – 50 years, as well as the ability for known water sources to meet demand. The report will consider the freshwater requirements of tangata whenua and provide engagement opportunities for the Hawke’s Bay community to contribute to long-term freshwater management planning.

Hawkes Bay Regional Council Chair Rex Graham says comprehensively understanding our water resources and making strategic decisions on how best to sustainably manage them lies at the heart of Hawke’s Bay’s continued success.

“The initiatives announced today will provide Hawke’s Bay with cutting edge scientific understanding of our acquifers and freshwater resources while supporting work on initiatives to supplement flows, top up our acquifers when conditions allow and increase water security across our community,” he says.

Mr Graham says the water storage options that would be examined would be relatively small in size and designed to supplement water flows during dry conditions or during periods of high use in order to offer greater water security and environmental protections.

“As a Regional Council we have already started work in this area, with $5 million set aside in our 2018-28 Long Term Plan to develop an integrated and holistic set of freshwater solutions. These funds will be invested alongside those of the Provincial Growth Fund.

Meanwhile, Alex Walker, Mayor of Central Hawke’s Bay says “Water security has been a critical priority for Central Hawke’s Bay for several years. Our surface and ground water takes are fully allocated and the Tukituki Catchment Plan (Plan change 6) requiring significant reductions in water use to maintain our river during summer periods. Add to this the changing weather patterns of climate change and we have a perfect storm. The ability to provide water consistently, year round, is crucial for the modern crops that are expanding across our district. The acceleration of this work, in partnership with HBRC and the PGF is crucial to a thriving future for our Central Hawke’s Bay community.”

And Hastings Mayor Sandra Hazlehurst says water is the life blood of our region and is essential for the supply of safe drinking water for our people.”

“The investment in our region’s water supply will ensure we protect the quality and quantity of our water both for today and for future generations. Water security and its effective management is the most critical issue to support our region’s food based economy, our community and our natural environment. “

10 June 2019

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