The Hawke's Bay region has been granted $50 million from the Government's stimulus package towards projects in Three Waters services - drinking water, wastewater and stormwater.
Each of the four councils across the region submitted plans for service delivery projects required to be started before March 2021 and completed by March 2022, as part of the Government's $761m to support the three waters reform and stimulate the economy following Covid-19.
Hastings District Council received the largest portion of the pie, with $15.36m granted for the council's drinking water upgrade programme.
Mayor Sandra Hazelhurst said the funds would go towards the Waiaroha Project, which will service more than 30,000 residents.
The project is the final major component of the drinking water upgrade work for urban supplies.
"Around $11.1m will be allocated to upgrades to the main urban drinking water supply, adding to the $55.6m investment we are already making."
Napier City Council was granted $12.51m to assist with an increased focus on managing planned and reactive drinking water maintenance programmes.
Napier mayor Kirsten Wise said water was their number one priority and the funding would make a big difference.
"With the aftermath of this month's flooding still very fresh in our minds, and with clean-up and repairs only just beginning, any and all central Government assistance is very welcome."
In Wairoa, $11.04m will be used to improve the safety and quality of drinking water services by replacing old or compromised critical water mains.
Mayor Craig Little said the Government funding meant the Wairoa community didn't have to cover the cost. It would also create jobs and training for locals, he said.
"We will be able to get moving on introducing smart meters to help reduce water loss and, therefore, the cost of water production.
"Improvements to wastewater plants will also mean better environmental discharges, which is critical to the health of our community."
Central Hawke's Bay mayor Alex Walker said the $11.09m boost would allow the council to progress much-needed renewals and upgrades across the district's drinking water and wastewater networks.
"This means we can get moving on this work sooner than we would have been able to, which is great news for our community."
Part of the funding allocated to each council has been pooled regionally, and Walker said this saved time and money on shared three waters priorities.
It was a continuation of the collaborative approach the council took in commissioning an independent review of the current and potential three waters service delivery options for all of Hawke's Bay.
"We are working together to create a pipeline of three waters work to be clearly communicated so that industry can resource up, and councils can deliver more quickly and efficiently."
Councils are now engaged in the first stage of the Government's three waters reform process, with councils providing information to the Department of Internal Affairs about the state of their related asset bases.
The information collected will be used by the Government to help identify the potential options and impacts of reform on the local government sector ahead of changes next year.