Camp to house SH1 work­ers

Kaikoura Star - - FRONT PAGE - PIPPA BROWN

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.

PHOTO: SUP­PLIED

Kaik­oura will get a tem­po­rary camp, which will house 300 work­ers, in the same style as this 3000-bed Australian min­ing one.

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