Rapid progress for Northland water

Plans for water security for Northland are moving at pace, with the location of a new water storage site decided and a further $37.5 million investment, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones have announced.

Construction on a water storage site in Ngawha could begin in September after months of technical assessment.

Both Ministers hoped work would begin earlier than initially announced in April if the project could be fast-tracked through new Resource Management Act provisions developed by Environment Minister David Parker following COVID-19.

“An earlier start to construction would mean more work sooner for contractors and businesses in the region at a time when Northland is suffering through the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic,” Mr Peters said.

“Bringing the start date forward by months would also mean an earlier finish date, and earlier access to a secure and reliable water supply for a region that has been hit hard by drought.”

Mr Jones said the additional funding of $37.5m from the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) will be used to accelerate and expand the delivery of the Northland water storage programme as part of the Government’s COVID-19 response.