HCC focus on environmental sustainability gets approval for the third LGFA green loan

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Published: 7 July 2022

A strong sustainable approach targeting a high Green Star rating for the rebuild of Naenae pool and fitness centre has seen Hutt City Council approved for only the third Green, Social and Sustainability loan to a New Zealand council from the Local Government Funding Agency (LGFA).

LGFA specialises in financing the local government providing efficient financing for 75 member councils across New Zealand.  The new Green, Social and Sustainability (GSS) funding programme, launched late last year, offers cost benefits to local government projects that are focused on environmental and social wellbeing. Only three councils have successfully been approved for these  loans.  The new GSS lending will save Hutt City Council about $20,500 annually and an estimated $600,500 over the next thirty years.

Lower Hutt Mayor Campbell Barry welcomed the news.

“We have always said we would do this project differently, and that includes putting our environment at the centre of the rebuild. The green loan demonstrates that we’re making good on our commitment to deliver more sustainable projects in our city,” says Mayor Campbell Barry.

Hutt City Council Chief Executive Jo Miller said caring for and protecting the environment was one of the six key priorities for Hutt Council in the Council’s 10-year-plan. A key driver across the Naenae Pool and Fitness Centre planning was sustainability, not just during the life of the project build but also for the future operation of the facility.

“Right from the beginning we have ensured this project meets our new sustainable priorities. We are focused on reducing the impact on our environment, providing a state-of-the-art facility that delivers for our community, reduces ongoing operational costs and achieves a New Zealand Green Building Council 5 Green Star rated aquatic building – a first in New Zealand.”

The new pool will be 65% bigger than the old pool and will be much more energy efficient with up to 53% reduction on energy use.

“Being part of the LGFA green funding programme recognises all the work the team has put in to deliver a greener facility with the additional benefit of cost savings across the life of the loan. This is a win win situation for our ratepayers who get a state-of-the-art pool and fitness centre with savings because of our determination to build greener. We continue to improve the infrastructure across the city which was a main element of feedback on our 10-year-plan while being financial prudent and finding savings where we can – this all supports building a better place to live for Hutt residents,” she said.

LGFA Chief Executive Mark Butcher said “As part of Hutt City Council’s journey to reduce its carbon emissions the new Naenae Pool and Fitness Centre will deliver a complex that has low embodied carbon, low operating costs and carbon emissions, and deliver a high-quality indoor environment for the benefit of the community that is designed to last for a long-time. LGFA is very pleased to be involved in the financing of this ground-breaking facility”.

“This is the third green loan provided by LGFA to councils since we commenced Green Social and Sustainability lending at the end of 2021, so we are pleased to have Hutt City Council as an early adopter of this product that provides a discounted loan margin to councils”.