Tararua District Council proposal in last stage of $640,000 grant for infrastructure

Published 24 May 2022

A proposal for much-needed housing development in the Tararua District has made it through to the final stage of a bid for $640,000 in funding. Tararua District Council’s proposal is one of only 35 that has made it to the last stage of the funding process.

Over 200 applications nationwide have been competing for a slice of the $1 billion on offer via the Government’s Infrastructure Acceleration Fund (IAF). If successful, the grant would help to “lay the foundation” for a housing development in Pahiatua. The IAF is administered by Kāinga Ora – Homes and Communities.

Council applied for two grants for proposed works to contribute towards council (not developer) infrastructure that would allow housing on existing residential land by private owners but only if more than 30 houses could be built.  The funding also requires contribution by developers towards the new cost of infrastructure.  

The proposal for an area in South Pahiatua to be developed was not approved to go to the next stage. This was largely because of the complexity of multiple land ownerships in the proposed South Pahiatua area and a need for developers to be already committed to the proposal. The project was also trying to manage a potential one-in 200 year rain event, and this was proving technically very difficult to achieve because of the gentle slope of the land to the Mangatainoka River and to avoid impacting on natural waterways, while still crossing State Highway 2.

The former Pahiatua Hillcrest School has potential for up to 40 new house sites (400+ m2 sections). Under the proposals, 70% of the cost will be covered by the Kāinga Ora grants, with the remaining balance coming from Council funding and possible development contributions.

Peter Wimsett, Council’s Manager Strategy and Climate Change who submitted the application on behalf of Council says; Our district has been growing and needs more houses. We may expect world uncertainties to result in increasing migration to New Zealand and demand overtime.  This grant will help to develop the core infrastructure needed to build more houses, spread over a number of years. An essential part of the current planning is working with Iwi, who have a land interest at the proposed site and aspirations for development.”

This final stage will see further due diligence undertaken and both funding and housing outcome agreements negotiated before funding can be confirmed.