Bay of Plenty Times

More land wanted for In­dus­try to grow

Tau­riko Busi­ness Es­tate di­rec­tor ap­peals for road­ing con­nec­tion

- Kiri Gille­spie Business · Tauranga · New Zealand · John Robson · Belk · Waharoa

Se­ri­ous con­cerns for the fu­ture of Tau­ranga’s econ­omy and jobs have been raised as land at a boom­ing in­dus­trial es­tate starts to run out. In a pre­sen­ta­tion to Tau­ranga City Coun­cil (TCC) on Tues­day, Tau­riko Busi­ness Es­tate di­rec­tor Bryce Donne told elected mem­bers and staff the de­vel­op­ment was ap­proach­ing Stage 4 of its con­struc­tion, in which most of the land blocks had sold out.

Once com­pleted, the es­tate would pro­vide 294ha of land.

How­ever, much of this Stage 4 land could only be un­locked by estab­lish­ing the in­fra­struc­ture needed to sup­port the de­vel­op­ment. Specif­i­cally, the cre­ation of a road­ing con­nec­tion with Red­wood Lane was cru­cial, he said.

“TCC has been work­ing with, try­ing to work with, NZTA to achieve co­fund­ing. Get­ting the road over there and the con­nec­tion with Red­wood Lane is prob­a­bly the num­ber one fo­cus for us at the mo­ment, the num­ber one thing, we need.

“There’s es­sen­tially no more land we can re­lease be­fore that con­nec­tion is in place.”

Donne told the coun­cil it would likely be an­other three years be­fore land be­came avail­able for build­ing in Stage 4. And the es­tate al­ready had 15ha worth of land on a wait­ing list for ea­ger buy­ers.

“There is noth­ing at all avail­able other than re­pur­chas­ing from peo­ple who have al­ready ac­quired.”

Donne said the es­tate was fre­quently ap­proached by some of the larger lo­gis­tic com­pa­nies, par­tic­u­larly those who dealt a lot with the port. He men­tioned he had even been ap­proached that morn­ing with an in­quiry.

“De­mand has been in­creas­ing from larger na­tional and in­ter­na­tional busi­nesses,” he said.

But he was con­cerned this busi­ness could go else­where.

Donne warned the coun­cil that if there was no more land to cater for such de­mand, be­yond Stage 4, the re­gional econ­omy would suf­fer. He re­ferred to the pro­posed Rangiuru Busi­ness Park but doubted it would be built and com­pleted in time.

“If there’s not some­thing else for those guys to work on af­ter this, it will have se­ri­ous con­se­quences for em­ploy­ment and peo­ple will start leav­ing town, which may help the hous­ing cri­sis but it’s not the an­swer we are look­ing for.”

Coun­cil­lor John Rob­son asked where was next for fu­ture in­dus­trial land in Tau­ranga.

Donne said any­where you went you ran into life­style blocks, ki­wifruit or­chards or un­suit­able ar­eas such as wet­lands.

“There are some places to do it but . . . some are not con­sid­ered po­lit­i­cally at­trac­tive . . . you could go up Belk Rd . . . man­awa or look at not ac­com­mo­dat­ing it within Tau­ranga. It may end up in Wa­haroa.”

Donne ex­pressed frus­tra­tion at hav­ing to fol­low and wait for Waka Ko­tahi NZ Trans­port Agency’s busi­ness case for the Tau­riko Net­work Plan, say­ing it had been “hard work” in re­cent years. How­ever, it was nec­es­sary to re­ceive the agency’s fund­ing for the project.

Coun­cil­lor Steve Mor­ris asked about the pro­posed plans for Tau­riko West.

The area is ear­marked for the cre­ation of a new round­about on SH29 con­nect­ing to the es­tate and Red­wood Lane. It is ex­pected to di­rectly en­able fur­ther growth of the es­tate and en­able the ex­ist­ing SH29 and Belk Rd in­ter­sec­tion to be closed.

“What’s the hold up there?” Mor­ris said.

Coun­cil man­ager of city and in­fra­struc­ture plan­ning An­drew Mead said work on Red­wood Lane plans

had pro­gressed.

There were some wider in­ves­ti­ga­tions “that have slowed that project down but now we are back on track with NZTA”.

Mead said the coun­cil and the trans­port agency were work­ing to­wards pub­lic en­gage­ment on this in Fe­bru­ary or March.

In re­sponse to con­cerns about land space, Mead told the coun­cil it would need to look at op­tions de­spite there be­ing “no ob­vi­ous an­swer” and “con­sider the fact that we will not be able to ac­com­mo­date the land suf­fi­ciently in the city in that 10-year plus time­frame”.

Af­ter the meet­ing, trans­port agency se­nior man­ager of sys­tem de­sign Robyn El­ston ac­knowl­edged de­lays to fi­nal­is­ing the busi­ness case for the Tau­riko Net­work Con­nec­tions project (also known as the Tau­riko Net­work Plan).

“While we care­fully try to man­age ex­pec­ta­tions, there are of­ten a num­ber of fac­tors, of­ten com­plex, re­lat­ing to de­lays in de­vel­op­ing and de­liv­er­ing on busi­ness cases.”

El­ston said the agency ex­pected a short­list of three op­tions, ex­pected to be con­sulted on early next year, would fo­cus on long-term im­prove­ments to SH29 from Omanawa Rd to the Tak­itimu Drive Toll Rd round­about, and SH29A to Barkes Cor­ner.

The op­tions were ex­pected to en­cour­age pub­lic trans­port, walk­ing and cy­cling, the wider trans­port net­work and key lo­cal road con­nec­tions.

“This stage of con­sul­ta­tion will in­form the pre­ferred op­tion for the long-term plan for the area, and the cur­rent time­line is to have the busi­ness case fi­nalised by early-2022.”

In ad­di­tion to this, a pack­age of en­abling works aimed at sup­port­ing the hous­ing and in­dus­trial de­vel­op­ment in the area was be­ing in­ves­ti­gated and in­cludes the pro­posal for the Red­wood Lane round­about. “Pre­lim­i­nary de­sign and cost es­ti­mates for this in­ter­sec­tion, in­clud­ing stormwa­ter man­age­ment and how it in­te­grates with the long-term op­tions, are un­der way,” El­ston said.

Con­struc­tion of the en­abling works was ex­pected to be­gin in the next two to three years. Fi­nal project costs and fund­ing agree­ments be­tween the trans­port agency, coun­cil and other par­ties re­main be­ing work­ing through “as part of this process”, El­ston said.

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 ?? Photo / File ?? Tau­riko Busi­ness Es­tate is in hot de­mand.
Photo / File Tau­riko Busi­ness Es­tate is in hot de­mand.
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 ?? Photo / File ?? Tau­riko Busi­ness Es­tate as viewed from above in 2018. A pro­posed round­about on SH29 is ex­pected to be cru­cial to the de­vel­op­ment’s progress.
Photo / File Tau­riko Busi­ness Es­tate as viewed from above in 2018. A pro­posed round­about on SH29 is ex­pected to be cru­cial to the de­vel­op­ment’s progress.
 ?? Photo / File ?? Be­fore the af­ter. Tau­riko Busi­ness Es­tate pic­tured in 2011 show­ing the earth­works for Stage 2, at the end of the first de­vel­oped stage.
Photo / File Be­fore the af­ter. Tau­riko Busi­ness Es­tate pic­tured in 2011 show­ing the earth­works for Stage 2, at the end of the first de­vel­oped stage.
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