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Tamaki Redevelopment Company Heads of Agreement Applauded

25 July 2012

Tamaki Redevelopment Company Heads of Agreement Applauded

The NZ Council for Infrastructure Development applauds yesterday's signing of the Heads of Agreement between the Government and Auckland Council, to jointly form New Zealand's first urban redevelopment company.

The Tamaki Redevelopment Company (TRC) will lead the transformation of the Tamaki area over the next 15-20 years, and if successful, the model could be a blueprint for urban regeneration elsewhere in the country. Therefore, getting it right is critical not only for the communities of Tamaki, Glen Innes and Panmure, but also for communities across New Zealand.

As New Zealand's inaugural Redevelopment Company, there will be lessons to learn along the way, but at first glance, the approach taken looks encouraging.

The Company's focus on social uplift and its mandate to create measurable improvement in areas beyond solely social housing is laudable. The incorporation of a social component focused on skill and employment acquisition, an economic component to strengthen the local economy, creating new jobs and business opportunities, a housing component to optimise land use and existing housing stock, including progressing private housing development and delivering better social housing options in Tamaki, and a spatial component to create safe and connected neighbourhoods, are well advised.

We are encouraged by the requirement of the Company to bring all current and future initiatives and projects together into a single strategic framework. A master plan for the next 15-20 years, supported by the local community, government, business, education, social agencies, developers and financiers working in collaboration to achieve a common vision will go far in ensuring the early and committed engagement of stakeholders, and providing long term comfort for investors and a sense of certainty for residents.

There is also merit in the Heads of Agreement partnership, where the government will take a 59 per cent share and Auckland Council a 41 per cent share, contributing $5 million and $3.5 million of establishment capital and expertise respectively. Not only do both major players now have skin in the game, the partnership will also leverage enhanced land and development opportunities through co-ordinated urban design and planning activities.

The scale and vision of the urban regeneration proposed is also commendable. For the project to achieve the kind of social outcomes the community desires, providing the scale of redevelopment that allows the private sector to invest expertise and funds whilst making a commercial gain, is imperative. The remit of the TRC appears to do this.

So, as a starter for ten, it is looking relatively attractive. The bit we are worried about, as no doubt Minister Heatley is, is how the private sector views the offer, and whether they will come to the party with the requisite funds to effect the transformation. Only time will tell, but we are cautiously optimistic.

As proponents for best practice in infrastructure delivery, NZCID is encouraged by the establishment of the Tamaki Redevelopment Company. We welcome both Debra Lawson, the CEO-Designate and soon-to-be-appointed Board members to their roles, and look forward to the social enhancements this visionary, catalytic project for New Zealand will deliver.


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