It has taken its time but the government has finally come to the party with subsidy approval for a contribution of up to $7.315 million towards an expand wastewater service in the Kerikeri area.
"Our application has been on the Minister's desk for months but at least we now have a commitment which we can work around," Far North Mayor Wayne Brown said today.
"The fact is that Kerikeri is the largest town in New Zealand without a comprehensive sewerage solution. This is a point that for a long time seemed to have escaped the powers that be to the extent that at one stage we were in danger of losing out altogether.
"M.P. John Carter deserves thanks for finally getting it off the drawing board and helping to turn some of this questionable thinking around," he said.
However it was not all over yet for the council.
"What we still don't know is whether our changes in design and scope to keep the overall costs to a level which Kerikeri can afford, will still fit within any conditions attached to the subsidy. We also don't yet know what the final outcome of the Resource Consent application will be and again, whether the conditions applied can be satisfied.
"So while it's great news that there will be a subsidy, we still have a long way to go before construction can start," he said.
Mr Brown said the council was also still awaiting the outcome of its application for subsidies for the Hihi wastewater scheme which had been filed at about the same time.
Chief Executive David Edmunds said it was also thanks to the considerable efforts behind the scenes by Wayne Brown that the council had been able to achieve a result.