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GW Commits to Major Investment in Region’s Future

Greater Wellington Regional Council is readying its 10 Year Plan for adoption – committing to significant investment in its regional infrastructure.

Greater Wellington Chair, Chris Laidlaw, says the Council is undertaking an ambitious programme of work – investing in our region for future growth and the possibility of any natural disaster, such as flooding and earthquakes.

“We have made a commitment to transform our transport network, complete major flood protection projects, ensure our region’s water supply is resilient to major events and committed to working in partnership with our community to improve freshwater quality. All of these investments were strongly endorsed during consultation with the public.

“We’ve allocated $33 million to improve the rail fleet operating between the Wairarapa and Wellington, and the Capital Connection between Manawatu and Wellington over the next decade.

“We’re on our way to an integrated public transport network in July, making our fares simpler and more affordable for some. Wellington city will have a new bus network with high-frequency routes and more services. There will be over 250 brand new buses serving the region from 15 July 2018 and another 90 early in 2019, including high-capacity double-deckers and electric buses.”

The Council also anticipates it will play a key role in delivering the mass transit and public transport components of the Let’s Get Wellington Moving programme and has allocated $67 million from the 10 Year Plan.

We are committed to delivering a major boost to Hutt City centre, through RiverLink – a joint project between Hutt City Council, NZTA and Greater Wellington – to protect the Hutt CBD and the area downstream from the effects of major flooding of the Hutt River, and transform the city centre. Greater Wellington’s primary objective is around flood protection and widening the river corridor. The Council has committed $121 million to this project over the next decade.

In addition, just over $42 million will be spent on flood protection projects during the next decade in the Wairarapa. Almost $20 million is earmarked to be spent on flood plain work on the Otaki and Waikanae Rivers in Kapiti.

Future-proofing the region’s water supply – and preparing for adverse events – is another high priority spending area. Greater Wellington has committed to seismic strengthening of reservoirs, including contributing $5.6 million to the development of the Prince of Wales Reserve Reservoir. It has committed $20 million to strengthen the bulk water supply to Porirua and $116 million for a proposed Cross Harbour Pipeline, which will provide an additional water supply source for Wellington City in the event of an earthquake. Another option is sourcing water from aquifers beneath Wellington Harbour. The Council will decide on the preferred option later in the year.

“These projects, along with others, will be delivered with a proposed 6.4 percent increase in average residential rates for the 2018/19 year,” says Chair Laidlaw.

“This will mean, for the coming financial year, an average annual increase of $40.75 or $3.36 per month for Greater Wellington ratepayers. Over the next decade average rates are set to increase by 5 percent per annum.

“Following the consultation, we reviewed and amended several of our proposals we consulted on including our Revenue and Financing Policy.

“Greater Wellington ratepayers can be sure deliberations and final decisions were based on the views of the community and they are getting the investment needed to maintain and improve the region’s infrastructure.”

Greater Wellington Regional Council will adopt its 10 Year Plan at its next Council meeting on 26 June.

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