Council to fund $62m in Kingston three waters deal

by Kim Bowden - May 10, 2024

Kingston's three waters upgrades will come with a $60-million-plus contribution from the council.

A spokesperson for the Queenstown Lakes District Council has confirmed it will meet $62.2-million of the upgrades, in a deal struck with developer Kingston Village Limited.

Of the total, $12.3 million is flagged for stormwater systems, $27.4 million for wastewater, and $22.5 million for water.

The spokesperson cautions that these are the most recent available figures, after reforests, for years three to ten of the current 2021 to 2031 Long Term Plan, and revised numbers will be proposed in the draft Long Term Plan that will be released for public consultation in June.

In return, the council will receive new water and wastewater treatment plants, a deep bore, and a range of stormwater improvements in the township.

So, where will the money be coming from?

"QLDC debt is funding the Kingston water infrastructure investment utilising an interest-free loan of $36 million from the Housing Infrastructure Fund," the spokesperson says.

"This debt is ultimately recovered via development contributions and targeted rates for the properties serviced by the new infrastructure."

The upgrades are slated to enable the development of 750 new residential sections - but for now, existing households won't be benefitting from them.

In a statement late last week announcing the deal, the council said existing households within the township will need to continue managing their own water and wastewater systems.

There has been no indication from the council of any timeframe, or cost, for these households to eventually be brought on to the new schemes once up and running.

Construction work for stormwater upgrades and to service KVL’s new development are expected to be underway in October, while work on the wastewater treatment plant will wait until the first half of 2025, once detailed design is complete.

In 2019, when the council entered into the development agreement with KVL, the total cost estimate for the planned three waters infrastructure project for Kingston was $44.9 million.

Crux has asked the council for information on the total planned investment - from both developer and council contributions - in Kingston's three waters infrastructure.

Main image (File): Kingston, a township at the southern end of Lake Wakatipu, is flagged for growth.


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