$5.26 million investment proposed for community wellbeing and resilience in Kāpiti
Updated 6 October 2022
At their Strategy and Operations meeting on Thursday, Kāpiti Coast District Council recommended 14 projects, totalling $5.26 million, to be submitted to Te Tari Taiwhenua – Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) as part of their Three Waters Better Off Funding proposal.
The projects are new initiatives or requests to accelerate, scale up, or enhance projects already consulted on and planned for in Council’s Long-term Plan (LTP) 2021–41.
They include four new public toilets, a low emissions power source for the Ōtaki Pool, funding for economic development initatives, changing rooms, lighting improvements, and landscaping and cultural storytelling about Kāpiti Island at Maclean Park, operational funding for Mahara Gallery, and a new Climate and Sustainabilty Fund to help drive and support Kāpiti’s overall emissions reductions, increase community resilience, and expand sustainability education.
The two largest proposed budget allocations are a $900,000 increase for progressing the Waikanae Library and a $1 million contribution to the Paekākāriki Surf Lifesaving Club to help leverage other funding sources to replace their building affected by coastal erosion. The new clubrooms will also serve as a function room for community use.
Kāpiti Coast District Mayor K Gurunathan says an increase in operational expenditure to support social wellbeing and housing programmes are also a key focus in Council’s proposed projects.
“We are looking to inject additional funding into Council’s housing portfoltio and the Āti Awa, Toa, Raukawa Confederation’s housing strategy, as well as implementing an Age Friendly Action Plan,” says Mayor Gurunathan.
“The Better Off Fund is part of central government’s $2.5 billion investment to support councils to transition to the new water service entities on 1 July 2024.
“With the Water Services Entities Bill having its first reading in June this year, the reform is very much progressing. We remain committed to achieving positive three waters outcomes for our community and will continue to advocate for our district’s interests to ensure our needs continue to be prioritised and met in the face of a changing climate and unprecedented growth,” says Mayor Gurunathan.
“This includes taking advantage of any funding made available to us.
“Of the $2 billion available through the Better Off package, Council has been successful in securing $21.05 million. Our proposed 14 projects form Tranche 1 and applies to the $5.26 million we have access to now. Should the reform programme progress as planned, Tranche 2 of $15.79 million will be available to us on 1 July 2024.
“All allocated funding must be spent in full by 30 June 2027 and is to be used on projects that build our community’s resilience to climate change and other natural hazards, deliver infrastructure that supports housing development, or enhance local placemaking and community wellbeing.
“As with most central government reform packages, the Better Off funding deadlines have been tight. Limiting robust discussions around the Council table and opportunities to engage with our community. However, eight of the 14 projects were included in our LTP consultation process in April and May last year.
“We are unable to use the funds to reduce rates however, we are confident that the projects we have put forward provide a good balance of progressing significant planned work as well as investing in our community’s future social, economic, cultural and environmental needs.
“Council will receive notification of our outcome six weeks from the date of our submission.”