Major Hutt City Council infrastructure proposal clears another hurdle

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Published: 4 May 2022

Hutt City Council’s application to the Government’s Infrastructure Acceleration Fund (IAF) has progressed to the final negotiation stage, taking us a step closer to addressing major infrastructure challenges in the city centre.

Central Government announced in March last year a $3.8 billion Housing Acceleration Fund, with $1 billion set aside for investment in the likes of three waters infrastructure to support further housing development in the short to medium term.

More than 200 applications were received in the initial expressions of interest period, with over $5 billion requested from the IAF. Following a robust evaluation process, successful councils, Iwi and developers of more than 80 proposals were invited to submit a response to a Request for Proposal by December 2021.

Thirty-five further proposals are now through to the final stage of the IAF process where further due diligence will be undertaken and both funding and housing outcome agreements will be negotiated before funding can be confirmed.

Council’s application focuses on stormwater and wastewater upgrades across the valley floor and as part of the RiverLink project to intensify the CBD. After submitting a Request for Proposal, the application has successfully moved to the negotiation stage where officers will meet with Kāinga Ora in the coming weeks.

Lower Hutt Mayor Campbell Barry says this is an exciting milestone for the city, and if successful, the funding will allow for housing intensification in central areas.

“This application shows our intent to front up to the major infrastructure challenges in Lower Hutt. If successful, we'll be able to fund and build the infrastructure necessary to support thousands more homes in our CBD, as part of RiverLink, and on our valley floor,” says Campbell.

“Even with a slight cooling of the market, we know housing and rental costs are still way too high for many people and families. This funding would help ensure we can cater for the homes we need to build.”

This comes from work done by Wellington Water last year to investigate capacity of the existing wastewater and stormwater network to cope with projected population growth on the valley floor. This resulted in the need for new stormwater and wastewater sewers and pumping stations.

Director of Economy and Development Kara Puketapu-Dentice says that the potential funding from Government would support stormwater and wastewater upgrades for the RiverLink project and in the area between Hutt Central, Waterloo, Epuni, Woburn, Avalon, Naenae, and Taita.

“Being able to unlock the valley floor is critical to allowing the city to develop and more homes to be built. With the right infrastructure in place, we can provide the conditions for investment in our city and increase our housing stock,” says Kara.

“Officers will now engage with Kāinga Ora in the coming weeks to discuss the negotiation process and timescales.”

Following negotiations, final ministerial decisions will be made for funding agreements. You can find out more about the Infrastructure Acceleration Fund here