Hamilton's $272 million 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 on Tuesday.
HIF was created to provide high growth councils with a portion of a $1 billion 10-year interest-free loan to develop strategic infrastructure needed for new housing. Hamilton's Peacocke development proposal is for $272 million made up of $182 million from the HIF fund and a $90 million subsidy from the NZ Transport Agency.
Hamilton City Council says the Peacocke development to the south 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 (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.
The council also submitted a proposal for Rotokauri development in the northwest to the HIF. It did not receive funding.
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.
Council chief executive Richard Briggs says there's still a lot of work to do.
"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.
"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.
"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.