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Other Projects Update

We have huge demand on our aquatic facility.

The plan is to deliver a modern, fit for purpose facility with increased pool space and better accessibility so that more people can participate in aquatic sport and recreation and learn how to be safe and confident in the water.

While we understand there is unmet demand for pool space, we are pausing the project so we can relook at our options and will seek community feedback as we progress. We have kept $5 million aside for this project in 2020/21. We are using up to $500,000 to undertake further site investigations at Onekawa Park and to complete further design work if required.

Council provides 377 community housing units in 12 villages, most of which are retirement units.

Our housing supports people on a low income who have few assets and a special housing need. This housing is old, and while it has been maintained, there has been little improvement or renewal work carried out.

The government’s new healthy homes standards mean that we also need to invest in heating, ventilation and insulation in each unit.

Community housing residents pay a subsidised rent, which we use to provide the service and maintain the units. This year, for the first time in over a decade, we reviewed the subsidy levels and decided to increase rent marginally. Even so, our current income from rent will not cover the costs of maintaining the housing over the next 10 years.

We’ve been investigating several ideas for providing this housing to those in need, and we’re now analysing two shortlisted options.

One option is to sell or lease the entire housing portfolio to another entity. The other is to continue to provide housing as it is, or to sell some units to generate funds to build new units and/or support the service going forward.

We’re checking into each of these options to see what is workable.

We will consult with the community, including our current tenants, before any decision is made.

Project Shapeshifter is the name of the National Aquarium of New Zealand redevelopment proposal. We submitted the project business case to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) in December 2019.

The redevelopment would build a new, nationally significant National Aquarium and Oceans Centre. Such a facility would raise awareness of environmental issues and encourage visitors to support the conservation of species and ecosystems.

The project needed central government funding support to help with the capital costs and the ongoing operating costs. Covid-19 has shifted both central government and Council’s priorities and we now have to look at alternative options for our Aquarium. These options could include a refurbishment of the current facility, repurposing it for something else, or eventual closure. When we have reviewed all of the options, we will consult with the community on those that are feasible.

Te Pihinga (a new horizon) is an urban redevelopment project focused on growing economic and social prosperity in Maraenui.

We’re working with several agencies, including Kāinga Ora, to repurpose land for housing development and community facilities that will encourage a thriving community where people live to their full potential. We are refining a concept design for a community facility that will support employment, training and entrepreneurship with a focus on rangatahi and whānau development. It will act as an incubator, with access to high tech digital technology. Once finished, the concept design will be shared with the community.

Council has allocated $2.2 million to the project, and we’re approaching other funders to raise the rest.

A revetment is a rock structure on the shoreline that prevents erosion from king tides and storm events. We have been granted resource consent to build a revetment that will protect the reserve and properties on Whakarire Avenue in Westshore. The revetment will also restore the public’s access to the reserve.

As there is also some benefit to private property owners in this area, they will be charged a targeted rate as a contribution to the construction of the revetment. The project is due to start by next summer.

Want to know more?

The following documents provide further details about the changes to the proposed Annual Plan 2020/21.

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