Funding for Whenuapai homes
The Government will loan Auckland Council $300 million to accelerate the construction of thousands of homes.
But two further infrastructure projects of at least that value were still to be announced over the coming weeks.
Tuesday’s loan included five roading and five water projects designated by the council as ‘‘priority, fast track-initiatives’’.
Auckland Council would be lent $300 million interest-free between 2019 and 2017 from the Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF) which would be repaid within ten years.
This would allow the construction of 10,500 homes in greenfield areas in Whenuapai and Redhills, north-west of Auckland City, to be ‘‘brought forward’’, mayor Phil Goff said.
Goff said the loan was most of what the council had asked for, but was only a partial answer to Auckland’s needs.
The council was constrained by how much debt it could take on, and the Government understood the challenge this presented when it came to funding muchneeded infrastructure projects.
Finance Minister Steven Joyce had foreshadowed there would be a further announcement about this in the coming weeks. Joyce said the council had made it clear they wanted to look at other models outside of the HIF to support some additional applications.
The Whenupai Structure Plan anticipated between 8100-10,700 dwellings would be built over the next 10-20 years. In stage one about 1800 dwellings could be built between 2017-2021.
The council’s HIF would fund a $2m stormwater system; a $10m Trig Rd upgrade and realignment; a new $18m bridge crossing to the West Harbour ferry terminal; a wastewater pump station at Westgate, and $60m for stage two of the Northern Interceptor wastewater pipe.
However, as previously reported, stage two of Whenuapai couldn’t start until additional infrastructure – principally the Northern Interceptor and highway improvements – were completed. Construction of stage one of Watercare’s Northern Interceptor pipeline was expected to start later this year.
The new pipeline would redirect wastewater flows from Massey, Whenuapai, Hobsonville, Kumeu, Huapai and Riverhead to the Rosedale Wastewater Treatment Plant, in Albany.
Mayor Phil Goff says Council still needs billions of dollars to cope with growth.