Hutt City Council has unanimously agreed to more than double its capital investment as part of its 10 year plan to front up to some of the biggest challenges facing the city.
Lower Hutt Mayor Campbell Barry says the 10 year plan is about investing in core infrastructure and services in response to pressure from growth, and decades of underinvestment.
“At its heart, this 10 year plan is all about getting the basics right. The investments we make today will help build a city we can all be proud of, and provide strong foundations for future generations,” says Campbell Barry.
“In order to do this, we have to face our challenges head on. More people living here means there are more cars on the roads, more people sitting in traffic, and more pressure being placed on our already ageing water infrastructure.”
“That’s why over the next 10 years we will heavily invest in three waters, transport and community infrastructure so that we can support everyone in our city to thrive.”
“Alongside this investment, we will ensure that growth pays for growth. We are changing our development contributions policy to ensure that developers pay their fair share for the infrastructure that supports new housing in Lower Hutt.”
Council’s plan more than doubles capital infrastructure investment to $1.5B over the next ten years, with an initial 5.9% rates revenue increase for 2021/22. This equates to $2.51 on average per week per residential household.
“Our investment package for the next 10 years includes $587M in three waters infrastructure, $406M in transport projects like the Cross Valley Connection and the cycling and micromobility programme, $138.4M towards RiverLink, and up to $68M to rebuild Naenae Pool. These will all bring postive economic and social benefits to our city,” says Campbell Barry.
“A significant portion of these costs will be offset by Waka Kotahi (NZTA) and Crown Infrastructure Partners funding.”
“While this is a bold and ambitious plan, we have planned our budget with affordability front of mind knowing that the effects of COVID-19 are still felt in our community."
“However, given the challenges we face, we cannot afford to kick the can down the road any longer. It’s time to get on with creating good transport links to decrease congestion on our roads, and to ensure our three water infrastructure avoids large scale failure like we have seen elsewhere.”
“Ultimately, this is the community’s plan. While it was great to see strong support for our proposed plan, we will continue to work with local people and communities as we implement it over the coming years,” says Campbell Barry.