Region keeps soaring
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.’’