Waimea Water and its contractors have recommenced construction on the Waimea Community Dam, when the country moved back into Alert Level 3, and the project may see a much-needed boost in government funding.
Waimea Water CEO Mike Scott says the project’s main contractor, Fulton Hogan and Taylors, have developed a Covid-19 control plan for the dam.
“Fulton Hogan and Taylors’ Covid-19 Control Plan will be based on the health and safety standards and protocols developed collectively and collaboratively by the construction industry to meet MBIE expectations.” Mike says.
The Waimea Water team has continued to move forward on the project during Level 4. “The wider team has been very busy over the last four weeks, primarily working on required design enhancements, construction systems and records, looking at opportunities to recover schedule.”
Meanwhile, the Tasman District Council has asked the Government for $32.6 million in funding for the project.
This includes $13 million to meet costs associated with the Covid-19 lockdown, $10 millon to offset costs due to this year’s $25 millon budget increase, along with a further $9.6 millon for a hydro power station.
This comes with the announcement that the government is looking at investing $800m in ‘Shovel-ready’ projects to help boost the economy once the country starts to recover after the Covid-19 crisis.
Mike says that the region’s initiative to seek funds from the government is a win-win.
“The dam is a ‘shovel underway’ project, it’s more than shovel ready really, it’s well underway, and perfectly positioned to make the most of central government’s Covid-19 infrastructure funding,” he says. “It is a win-win opportunity as we could add further value to the project and speed it up, while also providing job opportunities.”
The government has said that the announced funding would be used for projects that will enhance the productivity and the ability for our backbone industries to expand. This is “exactly what the Waimea Community Dam is doing,” says Mike.
“More than ever, the Tasman region will need the Waimea Community Dam. Primary industry, so reliant on water security, is likely to be at the forefront of the region’s, and New Zealand’s, recovery from potentially the greatest recession many of us will ever experience.”
Councillor Dana Wensley says that she is hopeful that the region will receive the funding from the government to help the dam move forward.
“My concerns have always been cost to council. We are in a position where we need government support, and I think it would be astounding if we didn’t get funding from central government.”
Dana says that the funding the council has requested from the government will go a long way in terms of helping the region in its economic recovery.
“Local and central government are going to be very important in terms of kickstarting the economy. We are looking down the barrel of hard times in the next few years, and our capital works projects are really important.”
“It is crucial for council to help restart the economic recovery, and this is a crucial part of that.”