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Infrastructure investment in eastern Porirua welcomed

Castor Crescent

Porirua City has welcomed the announcement today that $136 million will be invested in infrastructure projects in eastern Porirua, as part of the Government’s new Housing Acceleration Fund.

The Government investment in sewerage, storm water and water storage infrastructure will result in capacity for 2,000 additional houses in Porirua and create up to 250 jobs, Housing Minister Dr Megan Woods announced today.

The investment will fund three key projects – a new sewer pipe through Bothamley Park, a new water reservoir, and a storm water project to address flooding.

This will improve the resilience and capacity of the water supply network in Eastern Porirua and significantly reduce discharge of raw sewage into waterways including Te Awarua-o-Porirua Harbour.

Porirua Mayor Anita Baker welcomed the investment and said the projects would benefit not just the 19,000 residents in eastern Porirua, but the city as a whole.

“Through our Long-term Plan consultation the message came through loud and clear, from residents young and old, that our harbour is hugely valued and must be a priority. This investment will have a real impact on harbour health and is a great outcome for Porirua.

“The investment also aligns with our council’s clear priority to focus our spending on fixing infrastructure as we prepare for growth and the challenges of climate change,” Mayor Baker said.

“We thank the Government for their commitment to our city, and for investing in the infrastructure which is crucial to allow for new housing and growth.

“In November 2018, the Prime Minister came to the city to commit her Government to working with the Council and Ngāti Toa to deliver an historic investment in Eastern Porirua. Today’s announcement is another step towards bringing that vision to life.

“There is a huge amount of activity on the housing front in Porirua, and there needs to be. We are growing fast, and both supply and affordability are tough challenges. Council, iwi, the Government and private developers all have vital roles to play, and each of those parties need to work together to overcome them.

“From the Council's standpoint, we are grateful for our partnership with Ngāti Toa Rangatira. This relationship, which has been positive and constructive over many decades, has never been stronger than it is today. When it comes to housing, Ngāti Toa Chief Executive Helmut Modlik and his team bring an inspiring vision and a real sense of urgency to the table.

“Today's announcement confirms that the Crown shares both that vision and that urgency – and I can assure you the Porirua City Council, and the community we serve, does, as well.”

The investment is the first drawdown from the Government’s $3.8 billion Housing Acceleration Fund, and a key milestone in the Government’s plan to address the housing crisis by increasing supply through large scale projects and speeding up the pace and scale of house building.

Minister Woods described the funding as “a win-win investment”.

“This regeneration project with Porirua City Council and Ngati Toa future proofs essential water services for the majority of the 19,000 existing residents in Eastern Porirua and prepares it for further investment to grow the community,” she said.

The infrastructure upgrade work is being carried out by the Te Aranga Alliance of construction and infrastructure experts Higgins, Goodmans, Beca, Harrison Grierson, Fletcher, Brian Perry Civil and Orogen.

An important focus of Te Aranga is creating employment and training opportunities, with an emphasis on hiring and upskilling local workers wherever possible, Minister Woods said.

“It is still early stages of developing the programme but the initial estimates indicate up to 250 jobs could be created to carry out this work over the next several years, in addition to opportunities for contractors at different stages of the project.”

Te Aranga is about halfway through the demolition of 70 old, state homes that are past their best, and will make way for more new warm, dry and healthy homes.

Further decisions on funding priorities for Eastern Porirua will follow business case work by Kāinga Ora this year.

12 Jul 2021