Affordable housing is out, but the rest are in ... so far.
Fifteen shovel-ready projects from a list of 16 Taupō District Council projects submitted to the Government during the Covid-19 alert level 4 lockdown have made it through the first round of consideration.
In addition, a further project submitted by Hillary Outdoors for its new Lake Taupō outdoors centre at Kinloch for young people has also made it through.
In April, the Taupō District Council submitted a list of infrastructure projects from around the district in response to a Government call for information on infrastructure projects to reduce the economic impact of Covid-19. The Infrastructure Industry Reference Group assessed all projects and then put a list forward to ministers of projects from the private and public sector that are "shovel-ready" or likely to be within six months.
A shovel-ready construction project is one where planning and engineering is advanced enough with sufficient funding that construction can begin within a short time.
The four criteria to aid selection said projects must relate to infrastructure, have construction readiness, be of a significant size that creates jobs, and consider benefits and risks.
The council had already undertaken planning and design for a number of important but expensive projects that will now have to be shelved indefinitely as a result of Covid-19.
Collectively, the 15 remaining Taupō District Council shovel-ready projects still being considered are worth $296 million and cover everything from water safety to recreation facilities.
The only council project not accepted was the Social & Community Housing project valued at $20 million which would have employed an estimated 80 people. It was described as a "significant greenfield residential subdivision, with the intention of building affordable housing" on a large parcel of residential-zoned, council-owned land on Taupō's outskirts, acquired when the East Taupō Arterial highway was built.
Hillary Outdoors also put in a proposal for funding for its Lake Taupō centre at Kinloch. That project already has land, consultation and consents secured. It would be a sustainable build with passive heating, its own wastewater disposal, composting toilets and other sustainable building methods.
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The centre would cater for up to 60 students from Years 7 to 9, plus teachers and caregivers, and have eight permanent staff on site.
Hillary Outdoors Tongariro Centre manager Jono Maxwell said a sustainable build could cost up to $20 million and would create 40-plus jobs during construction plus permanent positions, but it was the long-term goal of "making really good New Zealanders for the future" that was more important.
"We would create not only jobs but also young people who would be super-employable and change their way of thinking and way of life ... the social impact of our programmes on people and their lives means they are a different sort of person when they walk out the door."
Some 1924-shovel ready projects nationally were received by Crown Infrastructure Partners for consideration for Government funding. These were whittled down to just over 800. A spokesperson in Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones' office said the list of projects was still with ministers for decisions. Earlier this week the Government released a list of 11 shovel-ready projects that would be fast-tracked under a new law.
Taupō Shovel-Ready Projects
¦ Safe drinking water - $15.65 million, 80 jobs
¦ Water & wastewater reticulation - $53.54m, 254 jobs
¦ Safe water via telemetry - $14.06m, 34 jobs
¦ Community, service & emergency centre/council building - $38.6m, 460 jobs
¦ Recreation improvements - $15.19m, 188 jobs
¦ Shared & accessible paths, kerbs, channels - $10.55m, 60 jobs
¦ Taupō town centre transformation - $20.6m, 92 jobs
¦ Taupō bike trails - $10.04m, 55 jobs
¦ Building upgrades - $17.4m, 214 jobs
¦ Road safety & rehabilitation - $10.3m, 50 jobs
¦ Social services & community youth hub - $10.3m, 55 jobs
¦ Tūrangi recreation, events & cultural centre - $14.57m, 180 jobs
¦ Tūrangi wastewater treatment plant & disposal field relocation - $30m, 57 jobs
¦ Great Lake Centre refurbishment - $13.2m, 163 jobs
¦ Taupō Museum rebuild - $22.36m, 276 jobs
¦ Hillary Outdoors Lake Taupō Centre - $22m, 40+ construction jobs, eight permanent.