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Councils seek funds to aid development

Carterton District Council would use the IAF to build infrastructure within its Eastern Growth Area. PHOTOS/FILE

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Two of Wairarapa’s three district councils have made the first step toward securing funding for new infrastructure projects that would speed up housing developments.

Masterton District Council and Carterton District Council submitted separate expressions of interest [EOIs] to the Infrastructure Acceleration Fund [IAF], part of the Government’s $3.8 billion Housing Acceleration Fund announced in March.

South Wairarapa District Council chose not to apply for the fund.

The IAF was a contestable fund of at least $1 billion, targeted at locations across New Zealand in which existing infrastructure could not meet the demands of new housing developments.

Locations with housing shortages and affordability issues would be prioritised.

Carterton District Council [CDC] infrastructure, services and regulatory manager Dave Gittings said although the fund would be highly contested, he thought Carterton was ahead of the game.

Carterton’s plan for an Eastern Growth Area would see more than 1000 new houses built in the town. However, its success was contingent on infrastructure keeping up with development.

“We’re a long way down the track,” Gittings said.

“We’ve had rezoning planned, we’ve had consultation, we have a strategy and a plan on the Eastern Growth Area.”

Gittings said most councils within the Wellington Regional Growth Framework [WRGF] had submitted EOIs to the fund.

The WRGF was a collaboration between central government, councils, and mana whenua to provide extra housing supply across the region, while also ensuring equitable access to opportunities and protecting communities from climate change.

Gittings said the framework would give extra weight to Carterton’s EOI, given its long-term vision for the region as a whole.

After councils provided high-level information on developments in their EOIs, selected councils would have the opportunity to submit full proposals.

Recipients of the fund would be chosen from these proposals.

Gittings said if CDC was successful, it would use the fund to build the bulk infrastructure needed for its Eastern Growth Area.

“It’s for the road widening, footpaths, cycleways, wastewater, stormwater, and drinking water.”

However, he said this work would still continue even if CDC was unsuccessful in its application.

“The work will carry on – it would just be nice not to have a rating impact,” Gittings said.

If successful, Masterton District Council would use the Infrastructure Acceleration Fund [IAF] for housing development at Panama Village, Masterton.
Without funding from the IAF, CDC would loan-pay the infrastructure and then reclaim the cost through financial contributions from developers.

CDC’s neighbour to the north, Masterton District Council [MDC], registered two EOIs to the IAF, both of which would fund infrastructure to facilitate new housing in Masterton.

MDC strategic planning manager Angela Jane said new developments included additional housing at Panama Village, which was part of the district’s Long Term Plan 2021-31, and proposed developments on land near Millard Ave and Andrew St.

“We are now awaiting advice about whether the expressions of interest will be considered for the Request for Proposals stage,” Jane said.

South Wairarapa District Council [SWDC] did not submit an EOI.

A council spokesperson said SWDC did not have the anticipated growth to justify an application to the fund.

Councils with successful EOIs would be invited to submit full proposals from mid-October.

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