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New Bay of Plenty Housing Accords

New Bay of Plenty Housing Accords | NZ Local Government | Scoop.it
Tauranga City Council and Western Bay of Plenty District Council mayors Stuart Crosby and Ross Paterson have agreed on housing accords with Housing Mi...
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Council urged to act on roading priorities - Wanganui Chronicle

Council urged to act on roading priorities - Wanganui Chronicle | NZ Local Government | Scoop.it
Council urged to act on roading priorities
Wanganui Chronicle
One senior councillor wants Montgomery Rd to have a top priority because of increasing amount of heavy traffic using the route. Photo/Bevan Conley.
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Kotuku Dam project due to commence

Work on the Dam project will start in the next couple of weeks.

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Construction on a massive stormwater detention dam designed to better protect Whangarei’s central business district from damaging floods will be underway in earnest within weeks.

Northland Regional Council member Craig Brown who chairs the Urban Whangarei Rivers Liaison Committee, says the council had recently purchased the final property it needed and roughly $2.7M of work to build the dam itself is now scheduled to begin in October.

Councillor Brown says of the estimated $8.6M (GST excl) final cost of the Kotuku detention dam project, about $5 million would have been spent securing the 20 properties needed, with another several hundred thousand dollars to relocate power and other utilities in recent months. The remainder would pay for the dam itself and some associated final landscaping.

He says the contract to build the dam itself – to sit at the ends of Raumanga Valley Road in Raumanga and Kotuku Street, Maunu – has gone to MAP Projects Ltd, which aims to have it finished in autumn next year.

Councillor Brown says MAP is an experienced Rotorua-based civil contracting business that has successfully completed a number of challenging civil construction projects in recent years, including several hydro civil works and dam works and the tender had been awarded after a robust and keenly-contested process.

“This is one of the largest engineering projects the regional council has undertaken and when finished, the 18-metre high dam will hold up to 1.27 million cubic metres of floodwater during heavy rain, about two-thirds the capacity of the existing Whau Valley dam.”

However, Cr Brown says unlike the Whau Valley dam, which provides drinking water to much of urban Whangarei, the Kotuku dam is designed to trap vast amounts of water and then slowly release it over several days.

He says much of the damage caused by floods depends not only on how deep they are, but importantly, also how fast they are travelling.

“In layman’s terms, the Kotuku dam will help address both of these, slowing floodwaters and also cutting flood depths in the CBD by up to half a metre.”

Councillor Brown says the dam will be paid for via an existing targeted rate on more than 17,000 properties in the CBD and contributing catchment areas, but given it had the potential to reduce flood-related damage worth millions of dollars from a single flood, it would be money well-spent.

He says the targeted rate was established under the council’s last Long Term Plan (LTP) in 2012 when the dam’s cost was estimated at about $6.9M (excluding GST).

That figure had been firmed up to its current level based on completion of a more detailed dam design and peer review outcomes, resource consent requirements and given the costs of relocating utilities over the past few months and buying the land needed were now known.

Councillor Brown says the council expects to consult the public next year about changing its Whangarei Urban Rivers Management Rate to accommodate the revised cost as part of work on its new Long Term Plan for 2015-2025.

However, in the meantime, council will continue to work with the Urban Whangarei Rivers Liaison Committee, whose members include representatives from the Whangarei District Council, business and ratepayer communities and tangata whenua.

He says a site blessing is to be organised involving iwi, regional and district councillors will be held soon and among the first steps will be the demolition of five of eight houses that will eventually need to make way the dam, as well as the clearance of some bush.  (The houses can’t be relocated due to the way they are built so the first five will be demolished and the remaining three used to accommodate workers during the build and be demolished towards the end of it.)

“Demolition of those homes is due to begin at the start of next month, with the general contractor on site about mid-month and construction beginning in October.”

Councillor Brown says information on the project will be posted on the regional council’s website as the project progresses but says existing presentations and reports are already available via:www.nrc.govt.nz/kotukudam

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A share of the oil pie

A share of the oil pie | NZ Local Government | Scoop.it
LOCAL Government New Zealand wants to see oil and gas royalties shared with local communities — and Gisborne Mayor Meng Foon is right behind them
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Councils and government team up to lower fleet costs

Councils and government team up to lower fleet costs | NZ Local Government | Scoop.it
Seven Manawatu and Wanganui councils are working together to better manage their vehicle fleets and improve health and safety. Under a LASS (Local Aut...
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Bit of Placemaking activity on Broadway... - Palmerston North City Council | Facebook

Bit of Placemaking activity on Broadway from the weekend, head on down and take a look, or a load off. (Bit of Placemaking activity on Broadway from the weekend, head on down and take a look, or a load off.
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Housing Policy announcements by National Party

Housing Policy announcements by National Party | NZ Local Government | Scoop.it

The National Party announced it's 2014 election campaign Housing Policy initiatives today.

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National will continue its programme of reform to the housing sector to increase the number of new affordable homes and ensure fit-for-purpose social housing for New Zealanders most in need, National Party’s Housing Spokesman Dr Nick Smith says.

“We have been working hard over the past three years to address New Zealand’s housing challenge,” Dr Smith says.

“We are speeding up consent processes and increasing land supply through our Housing Accords and Special Housing Areas legislation, with agreements reached with five councils to date. We have removed tariffs and duties on building products to reduce costs through increased competition.

“We are reining in what infrastructure local councils can charge residential developers through development contributions. We are investing heavily in building industry skills and boosting productivity in the sector. We are carefully managing the economy to keep interest rates lower for longer.

“We announced today an expansion of support for first home buyers with KiwiSaver HomeStart. This package of assistance for first home buyers will help tens of thousands more New Zealanders achieve the dream of owning their own home.

“It is the combination of all these measures that will deliver lasting results.

“National is in the process of overseeing a major shift from state housing to social housing this term. In the next term, we will build on the our innovative approach we have taken to deliver housing that better meets the needs of people most in need for as long as they are in need.

“We have integrated needs assessments with the Government’s wider social support services, extended income-related rent subsidies to community housing providers and introduced reviewable tenancies. Our aim is to grow a more diverse social housing sector.

“National will continue our good record in improving housing affordability and helping those most in need.”

National’s Housing policy is available at: https://www.national.org.nz/docs/default-source/PDF/2014/policy/housing.pdf?sfvrsn=2

National’s Social Housing policy is available at: https://www.national.org.nz/docs/default-source/PDF/2014/policy/social-housing.pdf?sfvrsn=2

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Workplace conflict erodes productivity

Workplace conflict erodes productivity | NZ Local Government | Scoop.it
New research into the extent of conflict in New Zealand workplaces has found that within a 12 month period almost one quarter (24 percent) of employee...
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Rotorua District Council provides free computers and internet

Rotorua District Council provides free computers and internet | NZ Local Government | Scoop.it
Rotorua District Council (RDC) is joining forces with National Library of New Zealand to bring free internet services to all Rotorua Library users. Ao...
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Councils and government team up to lower fleet costs

Councils and government team up to lower fleet costs | NZ Local Government | Scoop.it
Seven Manawatu and Wanganui councils are working together to better manage their vehicle fleets and improve health and safety. Under a LASS (Local Aut...
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