Hamilton’s $1B fund success

Hamilton’s $272M pitch to unlock its southernmost growth area, Peacocke, has received support from the Government’s Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF).

Prime Minister Bill English and Ministers Steven Joyce and Nick Smith announced the HIF projects throughout New Zealand progressing to the next stage at a press conference in Hamilton today (Tuesday 11 July).

The HIF was created to provide high growth councils with a portion of a $1B 10 year interest free loan to develop strategic infrastructure needed for new housing. Hamilton’s Peacocke development proposal is for $272M made up of $182M from the HIF fund and a $90M subsidy from the NZ Transport Agency.

The Peacocke development will enable more than 3700 new houses over the next 10 years and 8100 in 30 years. To enable these houses to be built, the Council needs to invest in strategic infrastructure (eg main roads and pipes) so developers can link subdivisions to that infrastructure.

The Peacocke proposal includes building a new bridge over
the Waikato River from Hillcrest to Peacocke, a number
of key roads and installing main water, stormwater and
wastewater pipe networks.

Hamilton Mayor Andrew King says unlocking Peacocke is
essential for Hamilton’s future.

“We are one step closer to delivering a promise we made to
Hamiltonians a long time ago to develop Peacocke. It means
we can fast-track significant and expensive infrastructure
development to within the next five years. It will be great for
the city as 8000 homes over the next 30 years means 8000
new families who are all investing their future in our city,”
says Mayor King.

“Essentially this will be a three way partnership between the
Government, Council and developers to get the best outcome
for the city.

“This is an exciting opportunity for Hamilton and the support
from the Government has been brilliant. I want to make a special thanks Councillor Dave MacPherson for his involvement and Councillors Geoff Taylor and Martin Gallagher for their support throughout this project.”

Hamilton City Council Chief Executive Richard Briggs says there’s still a lot of work to do.

“We’re not at the final stage yet. We’ll now begin working closely with MBIE and the NZ Transport Agency to develop a detailed business case which is planned to include a chance for the public to provide feedback. We’ll also engage with developers to have signed agreements confirming funding contributions towards the cost of the bridge, roads and pipes, and plans for delivering the housing end of the project.

We’re working hard to make sure there are no surprises along
the way,” says Mr Briggs.

“If the detailed business case is accepted by the Council and
Government, the changes won’t happen overnight. It will still
be around five years or more until all the pipes are in the
ground and roads are ready, including the bridge.

“The timing of this project works in parallel to the Council’s
next 10 Year Plan for 2018 to 2028. The Council will have
some hard decisions to make during their 10 Year Plan
discussions about what projects have priority and the
balance between funding growth and community amenity.”

The Council submitted three proposals for the Housing
Infrastructure Fund - one for Peacocke, one for Rotokauri
and a combined one for both areas.

“Our Rotokauri proposal received a lot of praise from the
HIF panel as a viable and well thought out proposal.
Peacocke was seen as a more transformational project for
the city and the sub region which will deliver more housing,
faster. Spreading development to the south will also balance
the city and help to revitalise our central city,” says Mr Briggs.

The detailed business case, due to be completed this year,
will look at the strategic, economic, commercial, financial and
management aspects of developing the Peacocke growth area.

The financial case will thoroughly look into the effect the HIF
will have on the Council’s books and how the loan could be
repaid, including any other, new or revised revenue options.

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