Buller district 'doing well'

Publication Date01 December 2021
Publication titleWest Coast Messenger, The
Infometric's just released quarterly report shows strong GDP growth of 7.8% in the year to September 2021 and places it as the fifth fastest growing territorial authority in the country, compared to Westland and Grey in the bottom 10.

Buller's employment growth of 0.5% places it roughly in the middle of the pack. A strong domestic tourism surge has benefited Buller, with a 23.7% increase in tourism expenditure ranking the district as the fourth fastest growing.

This outcome partly reflects the number of tradies in the district after the flood event, and insurance funded recoveries tend to boost GDP in the short term.

Buller Mayor Jamie Cleine says the year brought challenges and yet overall, Buller is doing well as a district.

"We know there are people still hurting and in need of support with flood recovery and we are working hard to get them the assistance they need."

Mr Cleine believes the end of the year is a good time to reflect on the challenges presented throughout the year, along with the successes.

"It's been a big year for upgrading infrastructure and some services."

Council's infrastructure team has delivered on multiple projects across the district during the year, with water being a focus.

The first stage of the Westport water supply trunk main replacement project was completed by council's contractor Westreef Services Ltd last month.

This key infrastructure project replaces critical ageing water pipes suppling Westport and Carters Beach residents with drinking water.

The project was partly funded through Buller's first allocation of the three waters reform funding which saw Government contribute $4.5 million toward three waters infrastructure upgrades across the district. Of This, $513,000 was used for the project, which saw council contributing the remaining $528,000.

Next year, stage two of the project will extend the water supply pipeline by approximately 240m across Giles Creek and repair work will be done in the vicinity to improve the pipelines resilience.

Replacement of Punakaiki's drinking water supply trunk main is another major infrastructure project that was recently completed.

The new resilient pipeline will supply drinking water from the Punakaiki water treatment plant to properties on Hartmount Place and to households approximately 200m south of Bullock Creek.

The new pipeline is capable of carrying more drinking water for future urban development in the area.

Upgrading the Reefton water supply is also on track to be finished by...

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