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Council’s $208 million funding bid

Caption: The city council is seeking $51.2 million to upgrade the Te Maunga waste Water Treatment Plant. Photo: Bruce Barnard.

City councillors have approved a council bid for $208.6 million from the Government’s Housing Infrastructure fund to progress big ticket infrastructure projects required for the city’s ongoing growth.

The $1 billion HIF fund is created to assist councils like Tauranga with advance infrastructure projects to increase housing supply.

It follows the government’s adoption of the National Policy Statement on urban Development Capacity – rules that require high growth councils like Tauranga City to always have ten years zoned and three years serviced land available for development.

Without the interest free loan fund city ratepayers would be forced to borrow millions to pay for the projects required to support an increased population, when the city is already close to prudent borrowing limits.

“It is a good step in the right direction, but I would prefer it would be a grant,” says Mayor Greg Brownless.

Three city projects are approved for the second detailed business case round;

• Waiari Water Treatment Plant, $105.9 M.

The package of works includes completion of the Waiari Water Treatment Plant and associated headworks, construction of associated reservoir, and the piped network from the Waiari treatment plant own to the existing network at State Highway 2 near Papamoa.

The Waiari project will provide water directly to the Mount / Papamoa area of Tauranga City, it will also create capacity for development right across Tauranga City and all growth areas by reducing the water required from the existing treatment plants.

• Te Maunga Wastewater Treatment Plant $51.2 M.

The works cost is about $61.1 Million and is expected to provide an additional 35,285 dwellings to be constructed across the city. TCC is only applying for the growth component of this upgrade from the HIF which is estimated at $51.2 Million.

The package of works includes; Upgrade of Te Maunga Wastewater Treatment Plant – Stage 4 and stage one of the ocean outfall upgrade stage 1.

• Eastern Corridor Group of Projects at Te Tumu, $51.5 M.

The package of works includes a new grade separated interchange from the Tauranga Eastern Link motorway into the Wairakei and Te Tumu Urban Growth Areas; New arterial roads to the growth area boundary; A stormwater pond for roading related stormwater and a wider development catchment;

A new stormwater overflow from the Wairakei Stream Corridor to the Kaituna River; and trunk water and wastewater pipes to the Te Tumu boundary.

The works cost about $81.6 million and are expected to provide for an additional 7,706 dwellings to be constructed. TCC are only applying for the growth component of this upgrade, excluding improvements to the level of service, State Highway Funding and FAR subsidy from the HIF, which is estimated at $51.5 Million.

The fund is fully subscribed following the first round where five councils applied for $890m worth of applications, leaving $110m as a contingency sum going into the final DBC round.

The results of the application are expected to be announced after the May 17 Budget.

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