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Source: New Zealand Government

Infrastructure projects on the West Coast will receive a $36 million kick-start to aid economic recovery to COVID-19, Parliamentary Under-Secretary Fletcher Tabuteau announced at an event in Hokitika today.

The West Coast Regional Council will receive $24 million for flood protection and climate resilience projects as part of the global allocation announced by the Government last week.

More than $12 million central Government investment will support community, environmental and transport projects on the West Coast.

“This is great news for the Coast and I’m pleased to be making these significant announcements today on behalf of the Government,” Fletcher Tabuteau said.

“The Crown funding for flood protection projects will see the delivery of a flood warning system for Westport along with flood protections works, an upgrade of the Grey Floodwall and Greymouth flood protections works and projects in Hokitika and Franz Josef too.

“Today we’re also announcing funding for the Hokitika swimming pool ($3m), upgrades of Franz Josef’s Cron St and Hokitika’s Old Christchurch Rd ($4.7m), Hokitika landfills clean up and expansion and the Fox Glacier landfill project ($3.35m).

“These are all being funded through the $3 billion allocated in Budget 2020 for ‘shovel ready’ infrastructure projects.

“The Provincial Growth Fund has also approved a $1.2 million investment in the Hokitika airport terminal extension. This will improve airport terminal congestion problems and to provide room for shops and cafés at the airport.

“The Hokitika projects alone will create more than 130 jobs, helping provide much needed economic stimulus post COVID-19.

“Construction work on the airport will create 21 jobs and supports the region’s economic development and give key sectors the confidence they need to consistently connect to their markets.

“The $3 million Hokitika swimming pool renovation will provide locals with jobs, support the local building construction industry and boosts economic confidence and community visibility of progress. The pool renovation upgrades an existing public amenity, which has provided recreation services to the wider district for over 50 years.

“The contractor for the pool will need to employ up to 25 people for an estimated six to eight months for the renovation work and employ a number of sub-contractors.

“Many volunteers will remember the clean-up from the Fox River landfill spill after disastrous flooding events. This investment of $3.35 million will reduce the risk of any further incidents like these. The Fox River clean-up and Hokitika landfill expansion project will remove an estimated 15,000 tonnes of waste from the old Fox Glacier Landfill to Butlers Landfill.

“Work can begin immediately and will provide up to 50 local jobs through the project’s duration. It will reduce the risk of erosion and further pollution into the river.

“Roading congestion and safety improvements and access to essential services are the key components of the three roading projects for the district. We are funding a total of $4.7 million for road works on the Cron St road and footpath extension at Franz Josef, and sealing the Old Christchurch Rd in Hokitika. These projects will create an estimated 30 jobs.

“Cron St suffers greatly from congestion during peak seasonal visitor times. This work will improve the visitor experience and safety of this narrow road by providing enhanced pedestrian capacity as well as extra parking. Locals and visitors to the area require the services of St John, DHB, Fire and emergency as well as Civil defence and these improvements will allow people to have an improved and safe access to these buildings.

“The Franz Josef Flood Protection Project was developed after major flooding closed roads and impacted the West Coast and other South Island tourism businesses. The project will provide critical flood protection to Franz Josef town and secure access along SH6. The work can start immediately and will create 42 jobs during construction.

“This package shows the Government’s commitment to our regions and will unlock hundreds of jobs to support our economic recovery post COVID-19,” Fletcher Tabuteau said.

Notes to editors:

All approvals are made in principle and subject to further due diligence and contract negotiations.