1 July 2020
$55m funding for Rotorua supports iwi housing aspirations and district’s economic recovery
Today’s announcement of $55m for roading improvements and infrastructure that will help to unlock land for housing is “phenomenal news for Rotorua,” Mayor Steve Chadwick says.
“We’ve been chipping away at investment into Te Ngae Road to future-proof this key corridor and help unlock land for development so this is exciting news,” the Mayor says.
“It’s a big boost towards positive outcomes for our district – it will help stimulate the local economy by providing work and jobs, and will enable progress towards much-needed housing, so it strongly supports Rotorua’s Build Back Better economic recovery.”
The funding announced for Rotorua today will enable a series of intersection upgrades along Te Ngae Road and stormwater construction that will also support Ngati Whakaue Tribal Lands’ plans for housing at Wharenui Road.
Council is working on infrastructure master planning and stormwater design, and NZTA upgrades being funded will include traffic lights at the intersections of Te Ngae Road (SH30) and Basley, Wharenui and Owhata roads, as well as improvements at the Brent Road intersection, and four-laning of Iles to Basley.
The funding was announced jointly by Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones as part of a new package of infrastructure investments, with $3 billion from the COVID Response and Recovery Fund being allocated across the country’s regions.
“Rotorua desperately needs housing across the spectrum and Council has worked closely with Te Arawa – alongside Central Government agencies and other key stakeholders – on a strategic housing framework,” Mayor Chadwick says.
“This now-funded roading and infrastructure work will enable Ngati Whakaue Tribal Lands to progress its housing aspirations and will also provide work and employment for our locals so it’s great news for Rotorua.”
Council has lobbied long and hard for investment in the city’s key roading corridors to ease congestion and future-proof the local network, the Mayor says.
“During the past few years we have secured more than $100 million in Government investment in Rotorua, including for a variety of key place-shaping projects and roading.
“This ongoing investment shows confidence in our district and highlights the value of not only having a cohesive vision and direction that we have stuck to, but also of our concerted efforts to have genuine relationships and partnerships with Central Government and key stakeholders like iwi. These are key to confidence in our district and what we are trying to achieve.”
Government announcement - Infrastructure investment to create jobs, kick-start COVID rebuild
A new package of infrastructure investments will help kick-start the post-COVID rebuild by creating more than 20,000 jobs and unlocking more than $5 billion of projects up and down New Zealand.
Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones today outlined how the $3 billion infrastructure fund in the COVID Response and Recovery Fund will be allocated across regions, following extensive engagement with local councils and businesses.
The Ministers also announced a range of projects that are receiving funding to highlight the broad range of infrastructure being invested in across our communities.
The investment package includes about $210 million for climate resilience and flood protection projects, $155 million for transformative energy projects, about $180 million for large-scale construction projects and $50 million for enhanced regional digital connectivity.
“This is about creating jobs as we recover and rebuild from the recession caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic. Because we went hard and early with our health response, we’ve been able to open up the economy quicker than other countries and get a head start on our recovery,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said.
“The overall package is expected to deliver more than 20,000 jobs across New Zealand and unlock investment with a project value of more than $5 billion. Building infrastructure is a key component of our economic recovery plan. It creates jobs and provides much-needed economic stimulus.”
Earlier this year, Ministers established the Infrastructure Reference Group (IRG) to work with local councils and businesses to identify a pipeline of projects to support the economy during the COVID-19 rebuild.
The IRG received a total of 1924 submissions across approximately 40 sectors of the economy. Those submissions were scrutinised under criteria set by the Government and a short list of 802 projects presented to Ministers.
Cabinet has now made initial decisions about key sectors it would like to support and general regional distribution of funds, with more than 150 projects worth $2.6 billion being approved in principal. Officials are now undertaking final due diligence to ensure projects are viable and offer the benefits stated by applicants.
“We have focused on key sectors that are central to the Government’s economic plan – housing and urban development, climate resilience, energy and community development,” Grant Robertson said.
“This package will provide Kiwis with confidence that the Government is backing them in this challenging economic environment by creating new jobs and opportunities in communities around the country.”
The COVID Response and Recovery Fund (CRRF) set out in Budget 2020 earmarked $3 billion for infrastructure projects. Cabinet’s initial decisions on this allocation include:
- Housing and urban development: $464m
- Environmental: $460m
- Community and social development: $670m
- Transport (cycleways, walkways, ports and roads): $708m
The projects are in addition to the $12 billion New Zealand Upgrade Programme and existing Provincial Growth Fund investments.
Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones said the pipeline of projects would create immediate economic activity in the metropolitan centres as well as the regions.
“Both are critical to our economic and social recovery from the COVID-19 crisis,” Shane Jones said.
“Not only has this massive undertaking provided us with the largest stocktake of infrastructure projects we’ve ever had but it’s enabled us to partner with central and local government, the private sector and community groups to deliver projects for all Kiwis.
“The specific projects we’re announcing today are examples of the sort of projects we’re supporting – from nationwide investments in flood protection and better digital connectivity to civic facilities that we know form the bedrock of our communities.
“I am extremely proud of the depth and breadth of this unprecedented piece of work,” Shane Jones said.
Notes to editors:
All approvals are in principle and subject to contract negotiations. Investment values are also subject to change.
Further announcements on project details will be made over coming weeks. Approximate regional funding is detailed below:
Auckland region $500 million
Bay of Plenty Region $170 million
Canterbury $300 million
East Coast $106 million
Hawke’s Bay $130 million
Manawatu/Whanganui $140 million
Northland $150 million
Otago $260 million
Southland $90 million
Taranaki $85 million
Top of the South $85 million
Waikato $150 million
Wellington region $185 million
West Coast $90 million
See the full project list here
About $400 million has been set aside as a contingency as the Government takes a responsible approach to managing spending on behalf of taxpayers. Funds not required in the contingency will be put towards further infrastructure projects, providing an incentive for local councils to deliver the approved projects on time and on budget, as this would unlock a further potential $400 million of investment.
Please find attached a list of projects being announced today. This provide examples of the projects Cabinet seeks to support through the CRRF funding.