Handing out the Infrastructure Fund
Tuesday 11 July 2017
Auckland and the Waikato are the big winners from the allocation of the government’s much-anticipated $1 billion Housing Infrastructure Fund.
By Miriam Bell
At a press conference in Hamilton today, the government announced that five of the country’s fastest growing Councils will receive funding for nine infrastructure projects from the Fund.
Those Councils are Auckland Council, Hamilton City Council, Waikato District Council, Tauranga City Council, and Queenstown Lakes District Council.
Auckland Council has been allocated the largest amount: $300 million for a greenfield development at Whenuapai and Redhills.
This will support the construction of 10,500 houses in that area.
The Waikato will benefit from funding for two greenfield developments, which will provide a total of 10,700 more houses for the region.
Hamilton City Council will get $272 million for a development on the Southern edge of Hamilton, while the Waikato District Council will $37 million for a development on the shore of Lake Waikare.
Tauranga City Council will get $230 million for a greenfield development at Te Tumu, as well as an upgrade to the Te Maunga Wastewater Treatment Plant and a new water treatment plant in Te Puke.
This will support the construction of 35,000 houses in the area.
Queenstown Lakes District Council will receive $50 million for the development of two new greenfield sites on the Frankton Flats and an extension of the Kingston township.
This will provide 3,200 houses for the area.
Finance Minister Steven Joyce said the funding allocations will help provide another big step forward in housing supply.
“The funding will be used to provide network roading and water infrastructure for 60,000 houses across nine projects in these fast-growing urban areas.”
Building and Construction Minister Nick Smith said the infrastructure funding will bring forward the ability to build these houses - in some cases up to eight years earlier than otherwise.
“Adding these big new subdivisions will help lift the supply of residential sections and bring greater consumer choice into the housing market.”
While the government has already freed up planning constraints, areas zoned for residences cannot be built on without infrastructure, Smith said.
“We will be working closely with the Councils and developers to ensure these projects are progressed at pace.”
The government wants the first earthworks in the funded projects to be under way by summer, with the first houses completed by late 2018.
Infrastructure development has long been cited as a major obstacle to addressing housing supply shortages in many areas of New Zealand.
The goal of the Fund is to help alleviate this situation by providing interest-free loans to Councils with the greatest need to develop new infrastructure to support new housing.
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