The Napier City Council is taking the "now" approach to upgrading the city's water supply, after feedback from the city's residents.
The thumbs-up was given during the council's Long Term Plan consultation process which ended three full days of hearings and council deliberations this week.
The council had received 710 submissions on aspects of the draft plan for 2021-2031 and more than 60 submitters spoke to their submissions in hearings which started in the Pettigrew Green Arena's Simkin Room on Tuesday.
The Council began its deliberations soon after the last submitter presented on Wednesday afternoon and continued deliberations for about eight more hours on Thursday, finishing well after 5pm.
The submissions will be taken into account in the final plan, which is scheduled for adoption at a full council meeting on June 30, when it also expects to consider recommendations from its Rates Remission, Revenue and Financing and Financial Contributions Policies submissions hearing held last week.
The Council focused on eight projects in its consultation document, each generating a strong response, said Mayor Kirsten Wise.
More than three-quarters supported working on water projects "now," she said, adding it would enable Napier to meet new national drinking water standards within five years and move to a chlorine-free network in the long term if that was what the community wanted.
"Every dollar we invest in three-waters infrastructure (drinking, waste and storm water) won't go to waste," she said.
"We will be carrying out a significant amount of work to make our drinking water network resilient in the long term, with the immediate focus being fixing dirty water issues while ensuring everything we're doing is moving towards chlorine-free. If we and the community eventually decide that is where we want to go."
The community also supported the proposal to look further into street management and safety, including an ambassador programme to complement current community safety initiatives.
Continuing to operate the Faraday Centre while the council ponders its future involvement was also supported, as was funding of a community housing shortfall with a loan. The council was now also reviewing long-term options for providing affordable housing.
Maraenui community centre proposal Te Pihinga, including building community facilities on Bledisloe Rd, received good support from submitters, the council said, although staff acknowledged issues to be discussed including potential duplication already provided in other facilities not run by the council, and the Ahuriri Regional Park development on Lagoon Farm. Traffic safety plans were also positively received.
Council chief executive Steph Rotarangi, in the job just four months since arriving from Australia, where she had headed up bushfire and Covid-19 responses in Victoria, said she is heartened by the response from the community, the willingness to express concerns for the environment, public safety and for taking the time to let the council know how much they valued facilities such as the Faraday Centre.
"We have plenty of work to do on top of our planned programme of three-waters infrastructure upgrades," she said.
During its deliberations on Thursday, the council also discussed the importance of adapting to climate change.