Camp to house SH1 workers
Kaikoura is to get an Australianstyle workers camp to house up to 300 workers.
The facility, expected to be up and running by mid-May, will be run by the North Canterbury Transport Infrastructure Recovery (NCTIR) alliance, and will house personnel working on the rebuild of State Highway 1 and KiwiRail’s Main North Line.
In all, 75 units, each with four self-contained bedrooms and en suites, will be delivered. Recreational facilities, including a dining hall, laundry and gymnasium will also be included.
New Zealand Transport Agency earthquake recovery manager Steve Mutton said the final location was still to be confirmed, but there would be one site for both male and female workers close to the Kaikoura township.
‘‘In order to open the road and rail corridor with minimal delays NCTIR needs to house more than 300 people to meet its end-of-year deadline.
‘‘The accommodation facility is critical to the job and needs to be set up by mid-May to meet the end-of-year target,’’ he said.
‘‘Similar temporary housing arrangements are commonly used to accommodate workers on large scale, short-term projects in other countries.
‘‘It will generate a large amount of economic activity for Kaikoura people and businesses in terms of food supplies and catering, laundry workers, cleaners and other services who will to help run this small village.’’
Kaikoura recovery manager Danny Smith said the council recovery team had worked closely with NCTIR to figure out if there was enough accommodation in Kaikoura for workers.
A survey conducted in late February talking to accommodation providers in the town found there was 120 rooms available for a 12-month period, Smith said.
Moteliers and others with rooms to lease faced a balancing act, catering to workers while also making sure they had enough rooms for tourists in the coming season.
‘‘It’s a bit of a juggling act because NCTIR need the accommodation for 12 to 15 months, which is across our summer when the road will be partially open,’’ he said.
The recovery manager previously described the presence of workers as a salvation for accommodation providers facing huge downturns following the November 14 earthquake.
Smith said that was still the case, as the planned worker facility was catering to workers over and above those already staying in the town.
Kaikoura Mayor Winston Gray said the council had been working closely with NCTIR and the temporary camp should have a minimal impact on the Kaikoura infrastructure. ‘‘Even with this busy camp in town it will be nothing like our busy season – having more people will help balance and help out in the low season.’’
Mutton said existing accommodation arrangements in and around Kaikoura would continue as per established lease agreements, with some properties locked in to a 12-month lease. There were also short-term, leases, however, with more than 300 workers’ quarters needed until the end of the year, many of those, along with shared housing arrangements, were likely to continue.
Separate to the Kaikoura workers village, about 50 people would be housed in leased accommodation on the northern Clarence side of Kaikoura. NCTIR was still in the process of working out the right mix of available homes, motels and campervan sites for the northern-based crews.
Kaikoura will get a temporary camp, which will house 300 workers, in the same style as this 3000-bed Australian mining one.