Re­gion keeps soar­ing

Central Otago Mirror - - OUT & ABOUT - JO MCKEN­ZIE-MCLEAN

Record-level ac­tiv­ity in the Queen­stown-Lakes con­struc­tion in­dus­try has net­ted $158 mil­lion in re­source con­sents over the past year.

Large-scale projects, in­clud­ing the new Wakatipu High School build at Re­mark­ables Park, on­go­ing de­vel­op­ment along Frank­ton Flats and the Queen­stown Coun­try Club re­tire­ment vil­lage, are con­tribut­ing to the re­gion’s strong eco­nomic growth. The re­gion is con­tin­u­ing to ex­pand at the fastest rate of any of New Zealand’s 67 ter­ri­to­rial author­i­ties, ac­cord­ing to fig­ures re­leased by In­fo­met­rics on Thurs­day.

Eco­nomic growth in the re­gion has in­creased 6.8 per cent over the March 2017 year, while Cen­tral Otago Dis­trict’s econ­omy grew by 5.4 per cent - both well above 2.9 per cent growth na­tion­ally, pro­vi­sional es­ti­mate of GDP shows.

Re­port au­thor Benji Pat­ter­son said ac­tiv­ity in Queen­stown-Lakes’ con­struc­tion sec­tor re­mained at record lev­els. There were al­most 1000 res­i­den­tial con­sents for new dwellings over the past year, up from around 900 the pre­vi­ous year, while the value of non­res­i­den­tial build­ing con­sents rose close to 50 per cent reach­ing $158m.

Such ram­pant eco­nomic growth did not come with­out a cost, with acute bot­tle­necks oc­cur­ring in Queen­stown’s trans­port network. Traf­fic flows climbed 9.9 per cent over the past 12 months and had grown by a third over the past three years.

‘‘Pol­i­cy­mak­ers have fast­tracked sev­eral ini­tia­tives to coun­ter­act this con­ges­tion. The new Kaw­erau Falls Bridge and Eastern Ac­cess Road are ex­pected to be com­pleted by year’s end, while work to dou­ble-lane ap­proaches to the BP round­about is un­der­way. This in­fra­struc­ture work will be com­pli­mented with sub­sidised $2 bus fares across an ex­panded Wakatipu Basin bus network.’’

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