07 September 2020

Bay of Plenty Regional Council has agreed a raft of recommendations to unlock the community resilience and job creation benefits of its COVID-19 ‘shovel-ready’ project funding.

At its meeting on Thursday (3 September) Council approved budget changes to fund the 25% local share requirement of the Crown Infrastructure Partners (CIP) $23million investment in six major flood protection projects across the region.

In addition to the local share component, budget was provided for two projects that were not provided for in the 2018-2028 Long Term Plan, resulting in new capital expenditure of $13m.

The positive impact of the COVID-19 Recovery support means that $10.1m in loan funding will no longer be required to deliver the suite of works. This in turn will see lower targeted and general rates than originally forecast in relation to the lifespan of the projects.

Councillors also approved the Rivers and Drainage and Lakes Procurement Plan 2020/21 which covers the majority of capital works. Combining the works under one procurement plan creates efficiencies through tender processes and construction phases.

Speaking during the meeting, Eastern Bay Constituency Councillor Bill Clark said he felt relieved on behalf of the Rangitāiki community that the CIP funding had been secured.

“It’s a great outcome especially following our consultation with the community over the increased cost of design for the final stages of the Rangitāiki Floodway. That meeting in Edgecumbe showed there was acceptance that the project had to proceed, but now it can do so with the peace of mind of affordability.”

Rotorua General Constituency Councillor Kevin Winters, offered congratulations to the staff who had worked so hard to prepare the funding applications during the challenging circumstances of the first COVID-19 lockdown.

At the time the funding was announced at the end of July, Council Chairman Doug Leeder welcomed the job security created by accelerating the flood resilience infrastructure projects. 

“Work across all six projects is anticipated to secure over 130 full-time equivalent positions with local contractors engaged mostly with earthworks and associated culvert, piping, construction, and site and pasture restoration. 

In addition this stimulus will provide downstream economic and social benefits for our region,” Mr Leeder said.

Background:

  • Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced funding of up to $23m to Bay of Plenty Regional Council in Rotorua on 31 July 2020.
  • The funds come from $210 million set aside for ‘shovel-ready’ climate resilience and flood protection projects being delivered through a $3 billion tagged contingency in Budget 2020.

Bay of Plenty Regional Council Projects:

  • Rangitāiki River Community Resilience and flood protection – completion of the Rangitāiki Floodway
  • Implementing Ngongotahā Stream Independent Review
  • Rangitāiki floodwalls resilience
  • Kaituna Mole upgrade
  • Whakatāne town centre flood defence upgrade
  • Waioeka Estuary concept

For further media information, please contact Kay Boreham, Communications Partner, Bay of Plenty Regional Council, 027 649 3459 or email Kay.Boreham@boprc.govt.nz