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Regional Services Fund

The Regional Services Fund is a new model of funding for emergency services across the Waikato Region.  The regional approach provides opportunity for councils across the Waikato region to work together and use their collective knowledge and funding power to support key emergency services.

A review of funding arrangements for emergency services at a regional scale and benefit for the Waikato region has been undertaken to:

  1. Ensure core emergency service providers can be developed or sustained in this region to contribute to the region’s quality of life; attractiveness to residents and visitors; and economy
  2. Provide more equitable funding arrangements for entities that provide regional benefits
  3. Provide efficiencies to emergency service providers by negating the need for multiple applications to several local authorities by providing the opportunity to access funding from one territorial authority.
  4. Provide certainty of services to territorial authorities and their communities honouring current promised levels of service.

For the 2016-2017 period, the Waikato Regional Council is trialling the Regional Services Fund with a specific list of emergency providers:

  • Coastguard
  • Surf Life Saving
  • Rescue helicopter

The benefit to this approach means that each of the above organisations need only deal with one local authority and the cost of the services provided is more equitably distributed across the region.

This fund was established in 2016, the funding agreements will be reviewed on a three yearly basis, with the option of reviewing the fund and consideration of potential services at the next long term plan (2018-2028). This means the first funding round is for two years.

Fund Criteria (subject to review at the upcoming 2018-2028 Long Term Plan)

The beneficiary organisation must:

  1. provide emergency services to residents of and visitors to the Waikato region; and
  2. be a charitable organisation performing emergency services in the Waikato region; and
  3. Have had a form of existing funding arrangement with territorial authorities within the Waikato region; and
  4. Be a registered charity under the Charities Act 2005.

What will be funded?

  1. Contracts for services with individual units/clubs/areas (inclusive of purchase of life saving equipment, training costs, volunteer costs etc)*
  2. Operational costs of individual units/clubs/areas.
  3. Operational costs incurred by the umbrella organisation in supporting individual units/clubs/areas
  4. Costs associated with coordination of regional emergency services across the region (such as rescue emergency/life saving operations.

What will not be funded?

Capital and maintenance expenditure (including the purchase of vehicles but excludes such costs as the purchase of life saving equipment)*; and

  1. The cost of overhead of the umbrella organisation (excluding costs incurred in supporting the individual units/clubs/areas)**; and
  2. Any part of facilities or services that the organisation provides outside of the Waikato region; and
  3. The cost of any completed project cost or retrospective costs; and
  4. The cost of any loan repayments or the use of the grant monies for investment of any kind. 

* 3(a) does not prohibit grant monies being spent towards the purchase of life saving equipment as permitted under 2(a)

** 3(b) Umbrella organisations are organisations that formally coordinate activities or pool resources.