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Urban developments top priority

27 September 2004

Media Release

Eastern Corridor urban developments top priority of Auckland Mayor John Banks for second term

Eastern Corridor investment and urban development projects worth millions of dollars to the economy will be a high priority of Auckland Mayor John Banks over the next three years.

Signalling a switch of focus for his second Mayoral term, Mr Banks noted that in the past three years the Council had had achieved major success on a raft of issues in the central area.

These included getting the Britomart rail station built on time and $500,000 under budget, a major deal for refurbishing 17 heritage buildings at minimal cost to ratepayers, ensuring public access to Westhaven in perpetuity, launching a Queen St upgrade, dealing to boy races, liquor abuse and other law and order concerns.

“While all this was happening, the Eastern Transport Corridor has been brought to the stage that it is ready to build.

“For the full benefits of the transport corridor to be unlocked, the project will need to be carefully co-ordinated with some very exciting and major million dollar-plus investment and urban development projects that are planned along its route,” said Mr Banks.

They include: Mt Wellington quarry with intentions of homes and community facilities for 8000 new residents; Re-development of Housing NZ properties in Panmure/ Glen Innes that will triple the population to 33,000 by 2030; Auckland University Tamaki Campus expansion to build the existing student roll of 3000 to 10,000; Auckland Innovation Park in Glen Innes, where a “cluster” of knowledge economy businesses are locating to take advantage of research opportunities at Tamaki Campus; Sylvia Park retail development, expected to have more shops than the whole of Wellington CBD and generate 10,000 new jobs.

Glen Innes / Panmure is home for thousands of small-medium but growing manufacturing industries requiring strategic 24-hour roading access to the Ports of Auckland, Auckland International Airport, and distributing products to all points of the region and beyond.

Mr Banks noted that research economists BERL estimate that when the eastern suburbs are operating at the capacity projected by the proposed new industries and residential suburbs being established, road usage will double on what it is today.

The increased traffic will generate three times the current level of growth in the area.

Says BERL: This is exactly what is required to achieve sustainable growth of Auckland’s economy, and thus unlocking Auckland’s full contribution to New Zealand’s hopes of building a thriving, innovative tier of world-class knowledge-based businesses.

“There is a high level of international interest in owning, building and tolling the Eastern Transport Corridor.”

“The next three years will be about actioning and unlocking this huge potential growth and opportunity that Auckland has,” concluded Mr Banks.


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