Source: Urban Task Force
Tauranga’s Urban Task Force (UTF) is throwing its full support behind plans for large-scale housing within the city’s Western Corridor but is urging changes be made to some of the proposal’s key features.
An estimated 43,000 additional homes are needed in the Western Bay of Plenty by 2048, and the Western Corridor is earmarked as a significant location for accommodating some of this growth. The area extends from the Wairoa River and Omanawa River in the west, across Tauriko and Pyes Pa to the Waiorohi Stream in the east.
To speed up delivery of the necessary housing and urban development required, Kāinga Ora is looking to establish a Specified Development Project (SDP). This initiative aims to streamline upfront planning for land use, infrastructure, and funding, fostering efficient collaboration between public and private sectors, including mana whenua.
If successful, the SDP will allow all types of homes (including public, market and affordable) to be built as quickly as possible.
UTF represents the city’s property owners, developers and building communities, and Chairperson Scott Adams says establishing an SDP is a logical move.
“There’s potential to build 30,000 new homes through the Western Corridor, including Tauriko West and Pyes Pa. This will require a realignment of SH29 and bulk infrastructure services and upgrades which will create employment and potential contract work for many UTF members.”
However, the organisation believes the SDP should be widened further west to include Omanawa Road, and that several other projects are required to ensure delivery, affordability and efficiency.
“We must prioritise key infrastructure, particularly a wastewater solution for the Western Corridor, and develop interim solutions for servicing and infrastructure, including roading,” Adams says.
“We also need to incorporate efficiencies and value engineering which will provide improved housing and subsequent development affordability across the project area.”
UTF met with Kāinga Ora’s board last month to discuss the SDP in detail but will also make a formal submission on the proposal. Its feedback will urge Kāinga Ora to include specialist input on the governance body that will oversee the project.
“We need individuals who have significant experience and expertise in engineering and construction, with a track record of successfully delivering infrastructure at scale. Local councils have demonstrated that they do not always have the right in-house expertise,” Adams says.
“We would like Kāinga Ora to appoint at least three external individuals to any governance committee and UTF’s board is happy to liaise with all stakeholders to identify and provide a list of suitable candidates.”
Public feedback on Kāinga Ora’s proposal for an SDP in the Western Corridor is open until 29 September. If an SDP is ultimately approved by the Minister of Housing, a comprehensive development plan would then be prepared with further input from the community.
“UTF fully supports Tauranga’s proposed SDP but we need to make sure the right people are on the project team from the very beginning so the housing and infrastructure our city desperately needs is achieved on time and on budget,” Adams says.