Breakthrough in infrastructure and urban development announced
"The announcement that urban development authority legislation will be fast tracked and the identification of an indicative route for the Warkworth to Wellsford motorway are major steps forward for infrastructure and growth," says Stephen Selwood CEO of Infrastructure New Zealand.
"Building and Construction Minister Dr Nick Smith has proposed legislation to fast track the redevelopment and regeneration of urban areas to better meet housing and commercial needs.
"This will potentially enable authorities to aggregate land, roll out infrastructure and interface with private developers and contractors to lift housing supply at a scale which could be transformational.
"Traditional development is clearly inadequate to keep pace with growth. This has resulted in new housing without coordinated infrastructure.
"Some of the key advantages of an urban development agency are the ability to aggregate land at scale, master plan development, integrate infrastructure, and promote opportunities for private investment.
"Added to this news is the announcement of the indicative alignment for the 26 km four-lane Warkworth-Wellsford motorway. This will create a seamless connection from Cambridge south of Hamilton to the southern boundary of Northland.
"The long-throttled economic potential of our northern most region will be unlocked by a reliable, resilient, faster and safer corridor to the major markets and ports of New Zealand.
"Current timelines would see a confirmed route progressed to the designation and resource consenting phase as early as this year, meaning major regulatory barriers could be overcome by 2018. This would allow a construction start from that point forward, although funding is yet to be confirmed and there are no set timeframes for shovels in the ground.
"It’s very encouraging to see the Transport Agency approaching the Wellsford motorway as a component of a much grander vision for Northland’s integration into the New Zealand economy.
"A priority now will be working out ways to connect Northland sooner and getting empowered urban development agencies to work in our high growth cities," Selwood says.
For further information or comment, please contact Stephen Selwood on 021 791 209