An investigator involved in a ratepayer-funded $15,000 investigation into the leak of a proposed Water Central facility in Hastings has come up empty-handed.

Hastings District Council confirmed the inquiry had not been able to identify the source of the leak, but cautioned further work might be done to find whoever was responsible for the breach.

The investigation began after Hawke's Bay Today revealed details last September of the council's plans to erect an externally funded $8.6million 10m-high building at their Eastbourne Site on the corner of Southampton St East and Hastings St South which would've told the story of water.

The council's chief executive Nigel Bickle said that although the interim report was complete and that there would be no further investigations into the inappropriate disclosure of the publicly excluded report, he did confirm other avenues may be taken.


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"On the other issue, the possible breach of confidence surrounding the councillor-only sessions, the investigator identified some further work he might undertake and he has been invited to do that," Bickle said.

As to what that investigation will look into he said it was not appropriate for them to comment on the nature of that on-going work.

The $15,193 of ratepayers' money has seemed to find nothing although Bickle said it was "done in a thorough and cost-effective way".

Although the investigation is looking into the source of the leak it seems to not mean much anymore as the council confirmed to Hawke's Bay Today in December last year that the originally proposed Water Central was no longer a proposal moving forward.

The council's director of major capital projects delivery Graeme Hansen confirmed at the time that "the proposal for water storage and treatment at the Eastbourne site is no longer the proposed Water Central concept".

At the time work was steaming ahead at the Frimley site, while work at Eastbourne was still in the early stages but it didn't seem a possible water education concept was out of the picture.

"As part of the further concept development works at the Eastbourne site consideration will be given to options, whether that be aesthetic, required for consent, or an add-on for educational purposes to enhance the opportunity provided at this site."


Hansen has confirmed that work is going to be presented to the council in February for consideration and a comprehensive public engagement and consultation process will be followed with the public, adjoining neighbours and as part of a notified consents process.

The work is part of the Hastings District Council's Long Term Plan 2018-2028, where $47.8m was committed to enhance drinking water safety, an issue the council identified as a priority.