Better Off Funding

Three City Safe officers standing under the Canopy Bridge.

We received $9.48 million from the government under Better Off Funding in recognition of the significance of the Three Waters reforms to local governments and the communities they serve.

The key challenges and opportunities supported by this funding will include:

  • sustainability, emissions reductions and climate change resilience
  • housing development and growth
  • placemaking and community well-being.

Funded projects

Ten projects and programmes that were approved for funding must be completed by 30 June 2027.

These ten projects and programmes were selected through engagement and collaboration with Māori in accordance with our formal partnership agreement with Te Kārearea representatives and Te Huinga.

We also have $0.78 million earmarked to enable the funded projects to be successfully delivered, to be shared between hapū and Council.

Sustainability, emissions reductions and climate change resilience

$2.25 million has been set aside for three projects related to sustainability, emissions reductions and climate change/hazard resilience. These include two business cases and one project to fund climate change adaptation activities.

Punaruku Russell Road flood mitigation

Russell Road and adjoining local roads in Punaruku are prone to flooding and regularly become impassable after heavy rainfall, causing significant disruption.

$0.15 million was granted to engage with the local community and partner organisations over six months to identify and develop flood mitigation and access improvement initiatives for Punaruku.

The project includes the development of a business case outlining recommendations for implementation under our Long Term Plan 2024-2034.

This initiative is managed by us and will be delivered in partnership with local hapū representatives and with support as needed from Northland Regional Council (NRC), Department of Conservation (DoC), Northland Transportation Alliance (NTA), Waka Kotahi and Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI). 

Climate Change Adaptation Strategy priority actions

$1 million has been set aside for contribution to unfunded priority actions within the Te Tai Tokerau Climate Change Adaptation Strategy, such as risk assessments. This project is in early planning stages.

The Hikurangi Repo (Swamp) Environmental Improvement Options & Business Case

$1.10 million has been allocated for a business case to address the effects of land use change, wetland drainage and construction of the Hikurangi Flood Scheme.

Stormwater flood management

Housing development and growth

$0.30 million has been set aside for one project related to enabling housing development and growth.

Papakāinga Support Contestable Fund

$0.30 million has been set aside for a contestable fund to address regulatory costs for owners of Māori land to enable Papakāinga housing on whenua land, such as consent fees.

This project is in early planning stages.

Community wellbeing and placemaking

$6.15 million has been set aside for six projects to support community wellbeing and placemaking.  

New Land Search and Rescue (LandSaR) Base

$0.15 million funding has been set aside for a new Land Search and Rescue Base at Onerahi Airport. This contribution will fund a building extension and fit out to further accommodate LandSaR.

CitySafe resourcing

A contribution of $0.20 million to increase the presence of CitySafe officers by two part-time staff and pay a Living Wage to all staff.

The funding will enable additional CitySafe resourcing to address anti-social behaviour at the Rose Street Bus Stop and support optimal staff recruitment and retention. 


The Ōakura Sports Park Development and Wetland Restoration

$0.85m contribution to wetland and walkways on land managed as part of the Ōakura Sports Park for ecological and recreation outcomes.

The Ruakākā Recreation Centre Stage 1

There is a $0.80 million contribution combined with other grants to contribute towards completing Stage 1 of the new recreation centre, Wahitakaro.

The new recreation centre is underway in Ruakākā to meet the community’s growing social, cultural and recreational needs.

The facility will include a gymnasium, carpark facilities and multi-use spaces for classes and events. Construction is expected to be completed in April 2024.

The Whangārei Heads Volunteer Fire Brigade

The Whangārei Heads Volunteer Fire Brigade First Response is getting $0.15 million for building extension. This is a contribution to complete a building extension for this community service including parking for response vehicles, kit locker rooms, ablutions and more.

The Māori Wellbeing Fund

The Māori Wellbeing Fund is a contestable fund that will receive $4.00 million to support Māori and community well-being projects or initiatives.

More information about the fund and how to apply can be found on this page:

Māori Wellbeing Fund