Hastings District councillors have approved a $9.8 million budget increase for the council's high-profile water projects, noting the blow-out could have been worse if they hadn't started the upgrades sooner.
Large water tanks in Frimley Park and site near the council on Southampton St East are to be built as part of the water system upgrades set out in the 2018 Drinking Water Strategy.
The cost increase will be loan-funded by the council to the tune of $6.8m and $3m by the reallocation of central Government funds granted to council.
It brings the total cost of water upgrade projects to $81.9m - $67.8m of which is loan-funded by council and $14.1m Government funded.
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At the meeting, councillor Geraldine Travers noted the council began water upgrades four years ago, before the current drinking water standards were brought into place, and other councils were further behind.
She asked whether, given the "huge" amount of work there will be around the country, if the council would have made a saving having started earlier, compared to if it had begun the upgrades now.
Chief executive Nigel Bickle said as the council is a "long way" into the upgrade programme he is "quite grateful that we are not at the front end of starting a larger infrastructure programme", given the current market challenges and supply chain issues which have bumped up the cost.
Councillor Wendy Schollum said while she was "quite horrified" when she saw the increase in costs, she too was grateful that the council started upgrades when it did.
"I am incredibly grateful that we are not sitting along dozens of other councils around New Zealand who are going to be vying for the same water expertise in and in a market that is red hot and not looking to cool down."
She said while there is "no way" she would support the level of extra spending under normal circumstances, she found in this case it was a "prudent" spend of ratepayers' money.