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Campaign For Second Wainuiomata Access Launched

National List MP based in Hutt South Chris Bishop has today launched a campaign for the building of a second access road into Wainuiomata. The campaign calls on the Hutt Council to prioritise a second access through its Long Term Plan consultation (open now) and to talk to the government about backing it with infrastructure funding from its $3.8 billion fund for accelerating housing supply.

A second access road, which would be from the north of Wainuiomata into Naenae has been talked about for years and is needed for two major reasons, Mr Bishop says.

“First, Wainuiomata has just one road in and out of the area. One minor incident on the hill and the area is cut off, sometimes for hours. This happened just a few weeks ago, causing chaos for commuters. This isn’t good enough for a growing community. A second access road would increase resilience.

“Second, a second access road would unlock land that could be used for thousands of houses. The area of north Wainuiomata has long been talked as an area ripe for development and Lower Hutt’s housing shortage demands action.

“The upper Fitzherbert Rd area in north Wainuiomata is currently rural land, and it has been identified through the Wellington “Planning for Growth” framework as one of the biggest areas that could be developed in the Wellington area. I’ve seen an estimate that around 2,500 to 3,000 houses could potentially be built on the land – but a second access road is needed to unlock it.

“Lower Hutt has a massive housing shortage. Here are the facts:

· Lower Hutt mean rents have risen from $361 per week in October 2017 to $580 per week in February 2021 – a rise of $220 per week in three and a half years

· The social housing waitlist in Lower Hutt is at near-record levels, with 586 clients on the waitlist as at 31 December 2020 (an increase from 198 in September 2017)

· The average Lower Hutt house price has risen from $531,421 in October 2017 to $891,148 in February 2021. The increase in the last year alone is nearly 30 per cent and was 12 per cent in the last three months.

· $2.3 million was spent on emergency housing grants (which pay for people to stay in motels) in the September to December 2020 quarter alone and $20 has been spent on emergency housing grants in Lower Hutt since they began.

“We have a housing crisis in the Hutt and action is overdue and urgent. A second access road was costed in 2013 at around $30 million. It will obviously cost more now but work should begin immediately on the planning and the Council should look to prioritise the road through its Long Term Plan; seeking funding from the government’s $3.8 billion infrastructure fund for unlocking land for housing.

“Details of how this fund will actually work are very scarce but the government says it will be used to fund infrastructure necessary for new housing. Wainuiomata north is precisely the sort of area that needs to be unlocked to address the housing shortage in the Wellington region.

“People can show their support for a Wainuiomata second access by signing my petition and I will be making a submission to the Council as well.”

© Scoop Media

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