Auckland Council has put forward 73 infrastructure projects to a Government taskforce for consideration, none of which are on the Hibiscus Coast.
The Government asked within a tight timeframe for lists of ‘shovel-ready’ projects from councils, CCOs, local boards and the private sector around the country. Enabling work to begin on these projects is designed to create jobs and reduce the economic impact of the Covid-19 measures, including the lockdown.
The Government’s priorities for the projects included that they be ready to go and are large (at least $10 million) while Council was also looking for fair geographic spread around Auckland and projects that benefit the environment.
A delegated group made up of the Mayor and a handful of councillors worked on the list over Easter. Its job was to reduce the initial list of 119 projects submitted, to a short list including its top priorities.
The final list of 73 includes 30 key projects, ranked in order of priority.
Many were already underway – or planned to start within the next 6-12 months, but put on hold due to the Covid-19 shutdown.
Work on Penlink was put forward as an option by the Hibiscus & Bays Local Board, however Cr John Watson was told at a meeting last week that it was not eligible under the Government’s criteria, as the projects needed to be additional to the ones (including Penlink) that were in the transport package announced earlier this year.
Hibiscus & Bays Local Board chair Gary Brown says that the local board also put forward development of Metro Park West in Millwater and the Orewa Seawall from Kohu Street to Marine View. Metro Park West is expected to cost at least $9.1 million, and the cost of building the Orewa Seawall was estimated several years ago at around $5 million. A decision on resource consent for the seawall is still awaiting an Environment Court decision, and seeking that consent has so far cost almost $1 million.
In a presentation to last week’s Council Emergency Committee, Generation Zero asked that green projects, including public transport and cycling, be prioritised saying that the pandemic is not a reason to push climate action aside. It appears Council was listening, as its top 30 projects are focused largely on rail, buses, cycling and stormwater infrastructure as well as road safety improvements.