Fast tracking community resilience, growth and safety taken off the table by Hutt City Council
Greater Wellington Chair Daran Ponter and Councillor Prue Lamason say Hutt City Council’s short sighted decision to block RiverLink from being submitted as one of the Government’s fast track infrastructure projects is slap in the face of a community crying out for more resilience, growth and safety.
RiverLink is a series of transformational projects to make Hutt City ‘future ready’ by tackling the transport, resilience, social connectivity, ecological and wellbeing issues facing the city.
Chair of Greater Wellington Daran Ponter says Hutt City Council should take advantage of the fast tracking legislation as opportunities like this do not present themselves very often.
“Fast tracking could save up to $30m in consenting costs and speed up the project by 12 months. This means $435 million could be poured into Hutt City much earlier, creating 100 direct jobs on the delivery and construction of the project and numerous additional jobs across quarrying, housing, and transport,” says chair Ponter.
More than 108,000 people already call the Hutt Valley region their home, and with a steady increase in population, a more resilient transport and flood protection system is vital for the region’s continued safety and urban and economic growth.
Cr Prue Lamason, chair of Greater Wellington’s Hutt Valley Flood Management Subcommittee, says she was frustrated by Hutt City Council’s decision as RiverLink could prove to be a game changer.
“A new city which faces the river, great open spaces, new transport links, upgraded public transport, let alone better protection from flooding. The best place to live, sooner rather than later”.
“RiverLink reduces Hutt City’s vulnerability to flooding and storm events, upgrading flood protection infrastructure to protect the City from 1-in-500-year floods. If such a flood happened now it would result in more than a billion dollars in direct damages and have a devastating effect on the lives, homes and business in the Hutt.
“The community are firmly behind RiverLink and the funding is already committed so I can’t understand why fast tracking is an insurmountable hurdle for Hutt City Council. I imagine they will be facing some tough questions from people who think taking this opportunity to protect our communities and enhance our city is a no brainer,” says Cr Lamason.
RiverLink is partnership between Greater Wellington Regional Council, Hutt City Council, Ngāti toa Rangitira, Taranaki Whānui kit e Upoko o te Ika (Port Nicholson Block Settlement Trust), and Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency.