15 Apr 2020

Post-lockdown boost: 10 major infrastructure projects submitted as 'shovel ready'

2:26 pm on 15 April 2020

A list of 10 infrastructure projects, including the Convention Centre, and the Omaroro Reservoir, have been submitted as "shovel-ready" projects to the government for immediate investment.

An artist's impression of the Wellington Convention Centre as viewed from Wakefield Street.

An artist's impression of the Wellington Convention Centre as viewed from Wakefield Street. Photo: Supplied

On 1 April, the government requested that councils submit such projects, which could be commenced as soon as the construction industry was back on its feet.

Wellington's 10 projects include water, transport and building upgrades, which can be started immediately.

Mayor Andy Foster said these demonstrated "significant financial, social, cultural and environmental value, as well as help create jobs post-lockdown".

The full list of projects are:

  • 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.

The Council also worked with other authorities across the region to make a submission for Let's Get Wellington Moving.

The submission requested $8 million funding for immediate temporary pedestrian and cycling improvements, and $80 million in quick but permanent bus priority, walking and cycling projects in the central city.

Proposed Prince of Wales/Omāroro Reservoir Site.

Proposed Prince of Wales/Omāroro Reservoir Site. Photo: Wellington Water

Further projects available to be started within 6 to 18 months were also given the government.

These included:

  • 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.

It is not known how many jobs the projects would create.

Foster said: "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."

Wellington Chamber of Commerce president John Milford said there needed to be significant intervention from central government financially as the burden of these projects could not be shouldered by ratepayers.

On top of financial assistance, he said there would also need to be a shake-up of the processes to get the projects underway quicker.

"We have to acknowledge in unprecedented times, maybe we need to look at measures that are outside of the square," he said. "Around resource consent, around compulsory purchasing, around the way we deliver projects.

"All of that should be looked at.

"If we have to go through the normal processes to get shovel-ready projects off the ground, to get these things kickstarted, it could be years and year and years," he said.

"To be honest with you, I don't think the city's got years and years. We've got to get these projects moving."

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