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Covid-19 - Wellington Mayor's Update - Including 'shovel-ready' Projects

Kia ora Wellington.

Today I want to tell you about Council’s comprehensive response to Government’s request for ‘shovel ready’, job-creating infrastructure projects.

But first I want to start today’s update by offering my condolences – and those of all Wellingtonians – to the families and loved ones of the latest New Zealanders to pass away due to Covid-19.

Of course, it’s important to look beyond the numbers we hear each day. Each one of these people is a parent, a sibling, a friend, a loved one – and each death is heartbreaking for those close to them.

I know you will all join me in thinking of and acknowledging the families involved at this very difficult time. That’s why we are in lockdown, that’s why we are staying home, why we are maintaining good hygiene, why we are only travelling when it is absolutely essential.

Today the Council submitted to the Government a detailed list of key infrastructure projects which are “shovel ready”.

We’ve identified ten projects which are ready to start construction within six months. These are projects which demonstrate significant financial, social, cultural and environmental value, as well as help create jobs post-lockdown.

They include:
- The Omaroro Reservoir;
- CBD wastewater pump station;
- CBD, Tawa and Kilbirnie Stormwater upgrades;
- the National Music Centre / Municipal Office Building redevelopment;
- the Wellington Convention & Exhibition Centre;
- the Island Bay Cycleway;
- Wellington Museum redevelopment;
- Harrison Street and Nairn Street and other social housing upgrades and; 
- St Johns site Karori development.

We have also submitted a range of projects that we believe can be ready to construct in 6-18 months. These include: 
- Frank Kitts Park including the carpark / Underground Market; 
- a sludge dewatering plant; 
- Civic Square; 
- Improvements to TSB Arena; 
- A Wellington cycle trails initiative; 
- A number of City walking and laneway improvements.

Our submission also includes a list of several water, resilience, community and environmental projects.

We’re also part of a joint Wellington Region submission, and a Let’s Get Wellington Moving submission on behalf of the programme partners.

The Let’s Get Wellington proposal includes some $8 million in immediate temporary pedestrian and cycling improvements, $80 million in quick but permanent bus priority, walking and cycling projects in the central city. NZTA has included $800 million dollars for Let’s Get Wellington Moving.

We believe these projects are perfect examples of the kinds of truly shovel-ready projects the Government is trying to identify, and would all help kick-start the local and national economy once lockdown restrictions ease. They represent a good range of infrastructure projects, and will be key additions to our city.

We’ll keep you updated with that progress.

Finally, we’re nearly at the three-week mark of lockdown. Tomorrow, most schools return from school holidays to a new remote learning environment, and that is going to bring some additional challenges - to the young people themselves, but also to their parents who may be trying to balance working from home as well.

Try not to get too stressed about it, I’m sure you’re doing a great job, and your kids will have a fun time trying out a new school routine – perhaps just from the couch. And hopefully it won’t last for too much longer.

Keep up the good work Wellington, and I’ll be back soon with another update.

Kia kaha.

© Scoop Media

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