Horowhenua's new business park and the new housing area, Taraika, are getting a financial boost from the Government.

The projects are being supported from the $3 billion 'shovel ready' fund set aside in Budget 2020 to kick-start the post Covid-19 economic recovery.

The Taraika Growth Area is a 400ha residential and mixed used growth cell on the eastern edge of Levin.

"Recent significant growth in population has made this a priority project for the Horowhenua District Council and I'm pleased we're able to support this important development," minister Shane Jones said.

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"The $25 million investment will enable three waters and roading work as well as civic assets, such as parks and sport fields, to be constructed. This critical infrastructure will support the development of up to 2500 new dwellings and a local commercial area to complement the project.

"The council expects about 280 new fulltime jobs will be created – 170 in construction, 80 in professional services and about 30 in other, support industries.

"In addition, the project as a whole will lead to a significant amount of indirect employment opportunities and a positive flow-on effect for the district and wider Manawatū-Whanganui region."

Government support for this project will allow the council to bring forward the enabling works needed to catalyse private sector investment into housing. It is projects just like this that will help soften the blow we face as a result of Covid-19, Jones said.

"The $25 million for Taraika will involve converting overhead powerlines to underground, shared pathways and improved roads and storm water drainage infrastructure at Tararua Rd, Queen St and Roslyn Rd. Work will be able to get started in the next three months.

"We're also announcing $2.9 million to enable the first stage of a new Horowhenua Business Park to get started.

"The money will see previously unutilised paddocks converted into a business park that services local and regional manufacturing, construction, logistics and related commercial and industrial activities.

"This important first step will act as a springboard for private sector investment and will play an important role in job creation in the interim too. A total of 38 jobs are expected to be created in the development and construction phases."

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Horowhenua Mayor Bernie Wanden has welcomed the Government investment that will fast-track the development of residential land to the southeast of Levin.

Work will begin later this year to install the necessary infrastructure for the proposed Taraika residential development on 400 hectares of land previously known as Gladstone Green.

Initially thought to be developed over the next decade, the fast tracking of the project is possible thanks to a $25M investment by Crown Infrastructure Partners in shovel-ready projects.

Mayor Bernie Wanden said Taraika is a transformational project that will directly employ up to 280 people in fulltime roles.

The government funding has fast-tracked the project in the form of cash and loans, however Council is still working through the process of fully funding the project – much of which is expected to come from developers.

Council developed the Master Plan in partnership with landowners, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency, the Ministry of Education and Muaūpoko Tribal Authority Inc.

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Muaūpoko gifted the name 'Taraika' to continue the thousand-year-old native custom known as Take Taunaha, essentially a statement that confirms Muaūpoko as Tangata-whenua. Other examples are: Tararua Ranges, Whanganui a Tara, Roto a Tara and the full name of Kāpiti Island.

Muaūpoko Tribal Authority Chair, Tim Tukapua said it is auspicious to commemorate Taraika, our ancestor who settled this region over a thousand years ago as te Iwi o Ngai Tara; Muaūpoko are the people of Ngai Tara.

Horowhenua District Council Chief Executive David Clapperton said Council developed the Taraika Master Plan to ensure the new development was well connected with Levin and will be developed alongside the Ōtaki to north of Levin Expressway.

Meanwhile, a public engagement process is underway on the Taraika Master Plan. You can find out more here. Feedback gathered through the engagement process will be used by Council Officers to refine the Draft Master Plan and District Plan Change. Following this, a Proposed District Plan Change will be formally notified allowing for submissions and a hearing to be held.