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New Contact Energy Service Centre For Hutt City

11 August 2004

New Contact Energy Service Centre For Hutt City

Hutt City councillors voted on Monday night to provide Land Equity Group with a rates remission for a major refurbishment of buildings on the Levenes site at High Street, to house a new Contact Energy retail services centre.

The rates remission has been granted subject to a number of conditions, including bringing new jobs to the city and that building commences before 31 October and be completed before 30 June 2005. Only once all conditions have been met will the remission be granted, in June 2005.

Deputy Mayor Ray Wallace said debate over the rates remission had been robust, and councillors were keen to ensure the promised benefits were delivered.

"The decision to grant the rates remission was unanimous, and I know Mayor John Terris will be delighted at the support councillors showed for this latest application," said Ray Wallace.

"We are committed to a proactive Economic Development Strategy that aims to increase jobs, retain existing businesses and attract new ones. This development will bring 120 new jobs into the CBD area, and Contact Energy has noted there is potential for future growth.

"We want to promote the fact that Hutt City offers businesses a number of benefits including affordable accommodation, a central position in the region, a business-friendly council, and good shopping and leisure options for staff."

Land Equity Group said the decision was particularly welcome and construction had already begun on a state of the art building to house Contact Energy's retail services centre.

"We submitted our plans for the site to Council on 21 July 2004. Those plans were checked by council officers and comments provided back to us on the same day. On 9 August, 14 days after our first approach, Hutt City Council approved our rates remission and work commenced," said Donald Stott, Managing Director of Land Equity Group.

"From a business point of view, being able to approach Council and have our applications and plans checked and dealt with in a timely and professional manner gives business certainty and the experience has been very positive. I have nothing but praise for the way officers have handled our applications."

Ray Wallace said Council had to act quickly on the rates remission application because another local authority was also keen to see the retail services centre located in their city.

"We are obviously very pleased that Contact Energy will be relocating its Wellington-based retail operations in Hutt City.

"I note that Contact Energy places a high value on the fact that its retail operations premises are just 15 minutes away from their head office in Wellington," said Ray Wallace.

Around $250 million of new developments have been announced in Hutt City over the past 12 months, with around 1500 new jobs being created.


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