Three new infrastructure projects to be fast-tracked – Ardern, Parker

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Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Environment Minister David Parker have announced three new projects to be fast-tracked past the Resource Management Act.

Parker, speaking to media after the weekly post-Cabinet media briefing, says the projects include mixed use development on Dominion Road, a foam factory in Huntly and The Vines subdivision in Richmond, and have been referred to expert panels for consenting under the Covid-19 Recovery (Fast-track Consenting) Act.

The foam factory, if consented will be on land that is 27ha and take up 23,710 sqm, and will involve its own rail spur.

Parker says they are estimated to create 2000 jobs during construction and 200 permanent jobs once complete.

“They will also enable up to 160 new dwellings in areas of high demand for housing,” he says.

“This latest batch includes both houses and subdivision … we’re trying to improve the supply of both houses and house building opportunities.”

The permanent jobs would mostly be at the foam factory.

Decisions on the projects announced today are expected in early 2021.

Ardern says the announcement will help accelerate economic recovery from Covid-19.

“Infrastructure is core to our recovery and ensuring we get key projects running quickly will provide the construction sector with certainty within their pipeline.” she says.

She encourages developers to come forward to be considered for fast-tracking.

Speeding up the consenting process will provide “much-needed short and long term employment opportunity in the regions and act as a catalyst for regional and economic growth”, she says.

Source: RNZ News – www.rnz.co.nz

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