Archive | Infrastructure

Tank to solve western isthmus overflows approved, round 2 begins Friday

Objectors to a stormwater & sewage holding tank to be built under expensive houses along the St Marys Bay ridge overlooking the Westhaven marina had their complaints rejected by a hearing panel last Friday, but a council committee will be back to hear them again this Friday.

Auckland Council’s regulatory committee has called a special meeting to hear objections, and to rule on them in a confidential session the same day.

As with the original hearing decision, the recommendation before the committee is to proceed with the project.

At stake is a $30 million-plus project designed to reduce – close to zero – the frequency of sewage spills into the Waitemata Harbour.

At stake from the property owners’ points of view are:

  • Loss of property value through potential development restriction
  • Extreme, unavoidable stench through vents
  • Concerns about cliff stability
  • Construction impacts, including the fear that the foundations of old houses along the route will be disturbed, and

On top of those questions is the issue of separation of storm- & wastewater – required of property owners in this area for the last 20 years when renovating, altering or redeveloping their properties, only to become mixed again at the gate.

Mr Hill commented on separation in the panel decision: “While we might accept the sincerity of the applicant’s (the council’s) assurance that this proposal is a stepping stone to that eventual outcome, the political history of this issue, as amply demonstrated by the submitters, gives no such assurance.”

Against the council desire to move forward with this project now, submitters also suggested further review, including alternatives, benefits & costs, ought to be undertaken.

However, Mr Hill said the panel had no lawful basis for requiring the application to be suspended for further analysis.

The objective of healthy waters

Auckland Council renamed & refocused its stormwater department, calling it the Healthy Waters department (Wai Ora – Healthy Waterways), in a bid to – at long last – rid the western isthmus in particular of the extremely frequent overflows arising when a deluge of rain hits the dual-purpose sewage & stormwater drains.

For years, local body politicians have fallen short of meeting the dirty-water challenge, limiting the budget and thereby ensuring the certainty of continuing spills by not separating sewage from stormwater.

But councils are now required to abide by the 2014 national policy statement for freshwater management in full by the end of 2025.

In Auckland, the Western Isthmus Water Quality Improvement Work Programme is the largest workstream funded through the targeted rate. Its aim is to progressively reduce overflows into the Waitemata Harbour from hundreds of events to 6 or fewer/outfall/year.

Auckland Council figured, at the end of 2015, it couldn’t meet the national policy statement conditions then, and set about establishing programmes last year so it could meet the policy.

Analysing the watersheds

The council has divided Auckland into 10 watersheds, where water drains to a stream, or ultimately to the harbour or open sea, and has drawn up this staged approach:

  1. Mapping the current state & key issues for each watershed
  2. Determining how to achieve the objectives & consulting the community, and
  3. Developing action plans to meet objectives, limits & targets set in collaboration with key stakeholders.

According to the outline on the council website, the third of those stages should be reached by 2020.

The hearing on the St Marys Bay project was held in September, with a final day in late October, and the hearing panel issued its decision on Friday 9 November. The panel was chaired by David Hill with panellists Mark Farnsworth, Dr Sharon De Luca & Nigel Mark-Brown.

Part of the wider western isthmus programme

The project is part of the wider St Marys Bay improvement programme which aims to improve water quality within St Marys Bay. It’s also part of the western isthmus water quality improvement programme for the wider combined sewer network catchment area, and it’s been designed to integrate with all potential long-term options to improve the network without constraining finalisation of a preferred solution.

It involves reconfiguring the Healthy Waters stormwater network, which is also used by the council-controlled Watercare Services Ltd as a means of safely conveying overflow discharges from 5 engineered overflow points in the combined sewer network, returning these overflows back into Watercare’s branch 5 sewer for treatment at the Mangere wastewater treatment plant when there is capacity.

Any residual combined sewer overflow would be discharged into the Waitemata Harbour via a new, longer marine pipeline that will replace the existing failed outfall at Masefield Beach, which would be removed.

The reconfigured network would enable combined sewer overflows to be captured & stored within the pipeline and returned to the sewer when it has capacity, for subsequent treatment at Mangere. As Mr Hill noted in the hearing decision: “This will significantly reduce the number of combined sewer overflows occurring from approximately an average of 206/year (into St Marys Bay & Masefield Beach) to approximately an average of 20/year. In addition, the replacement outfall will extend further into the Waitemata Harbour, such that when overflows do occur during larger rainfall events this will enable better dilution & dispersion.”

Additional information provided at the hearing indicated that the Masefield Beach outfall “currently discharges combined sewer overflows onto Masefield Beach approximately an average of 107 overflows/year”; and that the expected results would reduce the estimated current average annual overflow discharge volume from this part of the network to the harbour from 101,800mᶟ to 35,000mᶟ, and the proportionate contribution from domestic wastewater in those volumes from 18,300mᶟ to 700mᶟ”.

The project requires:

  • a 1km conveyance & storage pipeline (1.8m internal diameter, about 2500mᶟ capacity) extending from New St to Pt Erin Park, underground & beneath residential properties, recreation areas & road reserve, with an invert depth ranging between 5m and up to 22m deep
  • weir structures, pump stations & odour control units in Pt Erin Park & St Marys Rd Park
  • 4 (subsequently reduced to 3) air exchange poles, 8-10m high, within the road reserve on New St & London St
  • construction of shafts in Pt Erin Park (8m deep), St Marys Rd Park (9m diameter by 8m deep) and the New St/London St intersection (5m diameter by 24m deep)
  • a new 750mm internal diameter gravity pipeline along Sarsfield & Curran Sts connecting engineered overflow points 194 & 196 directly to the Pt Erin Park pump station
  • installation of a new 500m long by 150mm internal diameter rising main between Pt Erin Park & Sarsfield St, connecting to Watercare’s branch 5 sewer
  • connections to the new conveyance & storage pipeline from 5 engineered overflow points (points 194 & 196 (Sarsfield St), 172 (London St), 180 (Hackett St) & 1020 (New St)) – with point 180 remaining operational
  • construction of a new 450m by 1.4m internal diameter marine outfall pipeline with diffusers in the coastal management area off Masefield Beach, and
  • removal of the existing failed Masefield Beach 300mm outfall pipeline.

The panel concluded that, while separation is referred to, this would not be a wastewater facility because the volumes of wastewater overflow would be low.

The panel also concluded that the air discharge from the storage tank (distinct from a pipeline where the contents are continuously flushed away) would pass the required odour standard.

Experienced civil engineer Ross Thurlow proffered an alternative to eliminate the tunnelled detention tank & above-ground ventilation poles & electrically driven ventilators. But the panel concluded that his option of an odour ventilation pipe inside an enlarged pipe tunnel with discharge at Pt Erin would require too long a tunnel and would not be viable.

On the issue of land settlement once the tunnel has been put in place, the predicted settlement effects were very low ad the panel accepted that any adverse effects would be detected early to allow appropriate mitigation measures to be put in place.

The panel also accepted that neither the shaft nor tunnel construction would cause groundwater changes that would adversely affect cliff stability. Overall, on stability, the panel said: “We find the investigations sufficiently detailed to allow reasonable predictions of settlement & stability effects. These can & will be further managed through consent conditions, including implementation of a groundwater & settlement monitoring & contingency plan and a construction noise & vibration plan to measure actual behaviours of the ground in terms of groundwater levels, vibration & settlement that will allow early detection and, if necessary, implementation of mitigation measures should the works cause unexpected effects that could affect existing buildings, utilities & roads, or cliff stability.”

The final paragraph of the decision sums up the resource management issues: “While the proposed development does not achieve the outcome sought by many submitters specific to the network discharges management solution advanced in the application, it is a significant improvement over the existing coastal marine discharge situation and, we were assured, is not the end of the matter as far as council (Healthy Waters) is concerned. We have accepted that assurance and, in that context, agree that it represents an appropriate sustainable management response to the identified problem and ‘promotes’ the purpose & principles of part 2 of the Resource Management Act.”

The next round, on Friday, takes the council into more complicated territory, away from the project itself and into the realm of values.

Links:
9 November 2018: Hearing decision
Hearing documents
Auckland Council, Looking after our waterways
Regulatory committee agenda, 16 November 2018
7, Objections to St Marys Bay & Masefield Beach improvement project
Recommendation
Maps showing project overview & objectors’ properties
Options analysis for location of new infrastructure
Examples of formal notices sent to residents under the Local Government Act 2002
Copies of all objections received
Record of communications
Engineering assessments & review of development controls for each property
C1, Deliberations on objections to St Mary’s Bay & Masefield Beach improvement project (in confidential agenda)

Attribution: Hearing documents & decision, committee agenda.

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Council committee ignores point of waterfront stadium request: agreement to test feasibility

Proponents of a stadium on the Auckland waterfront laid out their plans for Auckland Council’s planning committee yesterday, including a long question-&-answer session.

Image above: The model showing the proposed stadium, on display during the consortium’s presentation.

It was an information session, mainly explaining the process the Auckland Waterfront Consortium wants to go through over the next 3 years, not a request for assistance or prelude to a consent process.

But there was a request, as legal representative Mike Sage outlined at the outset: “We’re here today to request the council to enter into an agreement with the consortium & the Crown to test the feasibility of the consortium’s proposal that Bledisloe Wharf & the basin between Bledisloe & Queen’s Wharves should be transformed into a breathtakingly & beautiful precinct.”

That request was sidelined during the following 90 minutes. After the committee asked its many questions, committee chair Chris Darby linked the proposal to other propositions & the overall need to masterplan that area of the waterfront, thanked the consortium members and they were on their way.

The consortium’s waterfront map.

How the council might meet the feasibility test request – or whether the Government had already agreed to participate – wasn’t discussed.

Like other major infrastructure proposals, such as a ports alliance & moving the port out of town, this one could easily drift out to sea unless the council is prodded more firmly.

Shortly before the session ended, Cllr Ross Clow protested that Cllr Darby appeared to be presupposing the consortium’s proposal would proceed: “What about Eden Park Trust Board coming with their presentation – we do a business case on the status quo?” he asked.

Cllr Darby said the council could integrate some of the ideas being tossed around when it begins its review of the city waterfront masterplan, which at the moment doesn’t include this section of the waterfront: “I’m actually saying there does need to be a plan of our waterfront,” he responded.

“There is a stadium study [withheld from Radio NZ for 5 months, and then released with large sections blacked out] that identifies a preferred location to be then tested against the incumbent, which is Eden Park. That work is clearly identified as work yet to be done.”

Cllr Darby said the council could consider “over the coming weeks” whether it wanted to embark on examining a masterplan for the waterfront right along to the Pt Erin baths.

The Bledisloe precinct & Eden Park redevelopment proposal

In tandem, the proposal for a 50,000-seat stadium sunk to the sea floor at the end of Bledisloe Wharf, with the ability to expand to 65,000 seats, would be combined with redevelopment of the hallowed Eden Park to build an estimated 2500 apartments.

The wharf itself would have an estimated 2500 apartments built on it, plus retail, hospitality, hotels, commercial space & public space.

The proponents presenting yesterday:
Dave Wigmore (The Property Strategists Ltd, overall)
Mike Sage (Simpson Grierson, legal & overall picture)
Richard Goldie (Peddle Thorp, architecture)

  • I’ll post committee questions in a second stadium item later today.

Links:
Livestream of committee agenda item
12 October 2018: Archimedia masterplan proposal for ports area
18 May 2018, Radio NZ on PWC downtown stadium feasibility report: No conclusion on downtown Auckland stadium in $1m report

Earlier story:
19 October 2018: Consortium releases waterfront stadium proposal details

Attribution: Council committee meeting.

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Fulton Hogan drops Huntly quarry from Stevenson purchase, Commerce Commission happy

The Commerce Commission has closed its investigation into roading & infrastructure construction company Fulton Hogan Ltd’s acquisition of Stevenson Group Ltd’s construction materials business, saying its concerns with the transaction have been addressed.

Fulton Hogan agreed to buy Stevenson’s construction materials business in May, intending to take full ownership of Stevenson’s 2 quarries & 4 concrete plants, transport, laboratory services and associated plant & equipment.

Fulton Hogan didn’t seek clearance under the commission’s merger regime, and the commission opened an investigation in June, primarily due to concerns the acquisition could reduce competition for the production & supply of aggregates (granular rocks, gravel or sand typically used in roading & construction) in Auckland & North Waikato. Fulton Hogan & Stevenson both own & operate quarries in Auckland & Huntly.

Commission deputy chair Sue Begg said yesterday Fulton Hogan had since agreed not to acquire Stevenson’s Huntly quarry as part of the transaction and it had now been formally excluded from the purchase.

“The decision to remove the Huntly quarry from the transaction addresses our concerns in this case. We are satisfied that Fulton Hogan’s purchase of Stevenson’s Auckland quarry assets is unlikely to substantially lessen competition, given the presence of other competitors in this market, and we have now closed our investigation.”

Stevenson’s focus has shifted to the development of its Drury quarry & land across to Auckland’s Southern Motorway, where it had 361ha of rural & quarry land rezoned in 2013 for a mix of industrial & business development.

Since then, Kiwi Property Group Ltd has bought 51ha at Drury to create a town centre, and Karaka & Drury Ltd (Charles Ma) has begun work on 2 residential developments at Drury, the first for 68ha and the second for 85ha, set to yield about 2700 homes plus a village centre.

Link:
Commerce Commission case register

Earlier stories:
15 June 2018: Commission opens investigation into Fulton Hogan’s Stevenson acquisition
31 October 2016: Work starts on 3 striking special housing area projects
24 August 2016: Work set to start after fast approval for Auranga special housing area at Drury
30 August 2013: Drury South industrial area plan change & MUL extension approved
10 September 2017: Second round for Auranga precinct confirms Drury as major growth centre

Attribution: Commission & Fulton Hogan releases.

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Ameti busway plans release brings Pakuranga Plaza transformation back

Pakuranga Plaza owner GYP Properties Pte Ltd said at the weekend release of revised proposed plans for the Auckland-Manukau eastern transport initiative (Ameti) eastern busway means the company can finalise its own designs for redevelopment of the Plaza & its 4ha site.

Image above: Pakuranga Plaza when Westfield owned it.

GYP Properties, a subsidiary of Singaporean listed company Global Yellow Pages Ltd, bought Pakuranga Plaza, which sits at the junction of Pakuranga & Reeves Rds & Ti Rakau Drive, from Ladstone Holdings Ltd for $96 million in October 2014.

The listed company’s shareholders approved the diversification of the company’s core business to property investment, development & management in May 2015.

Mr Tan said: “We have been working on the Plaza redevelopment since we acquired the property, but until we had the final alignments with roading, and the bus interchange location & access points were locked down, it has not been possible to conclude our own designs.

“Masterplans incorporating significant residential & retail buildings together with commercial, accommodation & entertainment activities will be further developed over the coming months. They will be released once the resource consent process, currently anticipated to be sometime in 2019, is underway. However, we are pleased to confirm our 3 anchor tenants.”

Mr Tan said Countdown had confirmed, Farmers had renewed its leases and The

Warehouse tenure runs through to 2035.

“We look forward to participating in this transformation project from Plaza to town centre, and on delivering quality housing options with modern retail facilities that focus on services, entertainment and food & beverage, with strong linkages to community amenities.”

He said GYP Properties would engage with key stakeholder groups & the Howick Local Board over the next few months while its plans evolve.

Links:
Auckland Transport, Ameti project
Ameti eastern busway
3 September 2018: Designation approved for next stage of Ameti eastern busway
Pakuranga Plaza website

Earlier stories:
2 October 2015: 15-year plan to transform Pakuranga Plaza takes shape
17 October 2014: Stanley Tan buys Pakuranga Plaza

Attribution: Company release.

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A milestone for the city rail link project, and a start on the next major section

The 2-year task of reinstating Albert St began last week while, over at Britomart, excavation for the city rail link tunnel can now proceed at full speed.

Image above: Work underway on the tunnel at the intersection of Albert & Customs St West.

The first is an obvious milestone in the development of the rail tunnel under Auckland’s downtown business area because, for most of the time the project has been underway, pedestrians have been able to peer down.

Britomart is far more complicated, requiring the railway station building – the city’s former chief post office – to be jacked up to enable excavation for the tunnel that will cross under Lower Queen St, under the Commercial Bay tower under construction on the former Downtown shopping centre site, around under Albert St & up to Karangahape Rd and on to Mt Eden station.

The Albert St tunnel project in September 2017 (my photo above) and (below) in September 2018.

The Government-Auckland Council company in charge of the rail project, City Rail Link Ltd, in its latest newsletter out last Thursday, counts some major steps forward:

  • Albert St reinstatement starts
  • Excavation under the Albert/Customs St intersection paves the way for construction of the tunnel box sections that will eventually link the Albert St trench to the rail tunnels being built under the neighbouring Commercial Bay development
  • The Britomart load transfer is complete and tunnel excavation can proceed.

City Rail Link chief executive Sean Sweeney said backfilling of the trench which runs directly beneath Albert St will eventuate in the roadway being reinstated & returned to road users by late 2020.

Backfilling with 50,000m³ of materials – a mixture of crushed concrete, crushed rock, sand & flowable fill – will take until mid-2019 to complete.

The work is being completed by Connectus – the McConnell Dowell Constructors Ltd & Downer EDI Ltd joint venture delivering the city rail link C2 contract.

Under the Customs/Albert St intersection, excavations have reached the halfway mark in preparation for building a key section of rail link tunnel box.

The twin underground tunnels being built under Albert St will connect at that point with those that have been built under the adjacent Commercial Bay development site.

Excavation is also continuing with the installation of supports for the trench walls and the removal of an old stormwater pump chamber. Construction of the tunnel structure under the intersection is expected to start this year, with a full connection being made to Commercial Bay by mid-2019.

On the C1 contract in Queen St, Downer & Soletanche Bachy JV completed the weight transfer of the 106-year-old category 1-listed ex-post office heritage building onto a series of underpinning frames, which will protect it from damage while rail link infrastructure is built underneath.

The City Rail Link website is full of images & more detail on the project.

2 time-lapse videos on the link’s website show a 6-month sequence of the city rail link tunnel box being built underneath Albert St. One camera faces south, and the other faces northern Albert St (downhill).

Links:
Albert St milestone
Video: Latest look inside the Albert St trenches
Britomart tunnel excavation is go

Attribution: Company release.

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Dominion Rd argument raises the question: What are we trying to solve?

How do we get around Auckland? Badly.

How should we get around Auckland? The first answer is: Well. And the argument over how to get between the airport & downtown Auckland is a fine example of how not to achieve that.

Below, Infrastructure NZ chief executive Stephen Selwood sets out his view of how to set the course for a decision:

Stephen Selwood.

Lingering debate over the form of rapid transit to Auckland Airport reveals a lack of clarity about the role for light & heavy rail, and this issue must be resolved when the business case is released.

The public is understandably confused about the purpose of the Dominion Rd light rail project & its role within the wider transport system. They are also confused about the potential for heavy rail connections to & from the airport.

This is a symptom of a wider strategic issue around how heavy rail is to support the future growth & development of Auckland, given the significant investment in the central rail link currently underway.

Under standard practice, we would normally first ask what issue we’re trying to address – congestion, urban regeneration or access to the airport? – and then we would decide what investments are required.

With the decision to proceed with light rail effectively made before a business case has been developed, best practice has been diluted, but not the need to be clear about what we’re trying to achieve.

Is Dominion Rd light rail designed to reduce congestion, support urban development or provide a rapid transit link to the airport? Is it all 3 or something different?

If the purpose is to improve access to the airport, then the business case should demonstrate that light rail better serves this objective than alternatives, including heavy rail.

If the purpose of the project is to reduce congestion, then business case analysis must demonstrate improved travel times for general traffic commensurate with the investment being made by road users.

Alternatively, if the purpose of Dominion Rd light rail is to unlock & enable urban development, then the business case must present a co-ordinated land use plan indicating the residential & commercial property opportunity linked to the project’s delivery. This should include the rezoning which is required and the timeframes for development.

Importantly, if the objective is urban development, and if congestion & other transport benefits are not improved, then funding should be primarily sourced from urban development, rather than the National Land Transport Fund.

Targeted rates, capital gains taxes & land acquisition via an urban development authority are all options which should be assessed.

A strong, transparent business case, clarifying why the project is being delivered, its costs, benefits & how it will be funded & delivered will address public confusion over the reason for light rail and resolve the question of light or heavy rail to the airport.

Attribution: Stephen Selwood, chief executive Infrastructure NZ.

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Penlink prospect gets real

Penlink, a proposal dating back to the 1980s start to development of Gulf Harbour at the end of the Whangaparaoa Peninsula, is an integral feature of the urban development of the Hibiscus Coast, 30-40km north of downtown Auckland.

Image above: The Auckland Transport/NZ Transport Agency map of the north-eastern infrastructure plan. Penlink is dotted line 3 at right.

Gulf Harbour has progressed, thousands more houses have been built on the peninsula, new business areas have sprung up at Silverdale, at the start of the peninsula, and the Millwater subdivision has spread from there across to State Highway 1.

But that integral link – once to have been 2 lanes each way from Redvale, across Weiti Forest land and over the Weiti River to Stanmore Bay – was again deferred in June, when Auckland Council pushed it back to 2028 in its long-term plan. It also shrank from 4 to 2 lanes.

The 7km Penlink road is consented and would reduce, by about 50,000 vehicles/day, the nearly 130,000 vehicles/day that travel through the nearby Silverdale business area to get to-from the motorway.

The one concession to the rising traffic congestion that has been a consequence of deferred action has been to introduce peak-hour use of the median strip at the start of the main peninsula road to double main-direction flow.

3-year campaign by Barnett

Enter Michael Barnett, chief executive of the Auckland Chamber of Commerce, who has campaigned for 2 years to get Penlink built, after an approach from the Hibiscus & Bays Local Board.

Mr Barnett won an assurance from Transport Minister Phil Twyford in April that, if money could be found outside the coffers of the Government & Auckland Council, the toll road could be built.

Last Friday, Mr Barnett said it could be done: “An unsolicited bid by an international group to establish a joint venture with a NZ construction company to undertake the Penlink toll road project as a BOOT – Build, Own, Operate, Transfer – has been lodged with the NZ Transport Agency.

“The offer is to provide the majority of the estimated $400 million capital needed to build a 4-lane tolled Penlink road – including bridge over the Weiti River, busway, cycleway & possibly park-&-ride – recovering all revenue on an extended concession and transferring back to Auckland Council for free at the end of the concession.”

The proposal is from China Tiesiju Civil Engineering Group Co Ltd, a subsidiary of China Railway Group Ltd, which in turn is a subsidiary of China Railway Engineering Corp, a company listed in Hong Kong & Shanghai and controlled by the Chinese Government.

In June, Mr Barnett wrote: “It’s crazy that Auckland Council can give a low priority to a project that has one of Auckland’s highest benefit:cost assessments – 3.5 for a project costing $348 million – meaning that for every dollar spent it will generate nearly $3.50 in economic benefit.”

“It shows we have a flawed system. Here we have a new government wanting more public transport, walking & cycling, but then goes for a 2-lane option. Our recent survey which government & council are well aware of shows that the public want a 4-lane road with a public transport option.

“Meanwhile the announcement bringing forward Penlink has already fuelled property development in Silverdale & on the Peninsula, with a number of long-delayed apartment projects towards Gulf Harbour now underway.

“And gridlock on Hibiscus Coast Highway continues to get worse, with 10km traffic queues between the interchange with State Highway 1 & Orewa and also along the peninsula to the Whangaparaoa shopping centre.

“Construction & engineering consultancies have advised me that there is a construction void in the market; they have little or no work and which ‘ready to go’ Penlink is ideal to fill.”

The next move is up to the NZ Transport Agency.

The agency & Auckland Transport have had Penlink in their sights for years, and produced a presentation on their websites last year showing its role in diverting traffic away from Silverdale.

Links:
Chamber of Commerce, Penlink page
Auckland Transport, Penlink presentation January 2017
NZ Transport Agency, Supporting growth – delivering transport networks, Silverdale, Wainui & Dairy Flat

Disclosure: I live on the peninsula, right where Penlink would start.

Attribution: Chamber of Commerce releases, NZTA & Auckland Transport.

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Port company names first tenant for Waikato hub

Ports of Auckland Ltd named the first tenant yesterday for its new 33ha freight transport hub at Horotiu, just north of Hamilton.

Open Country Dairy Ltd, 77% owned by Talley’s Group Ltd and New Zealand’s second largest exporter of whole milk powder, will take occupancy of the facility next year.

Ports of Auckland chief executive Tony Gibson said the earthworks were complete and building had started.

The Waikato hub – or inland port – is Ports of Auckland’s fourth, following developments at Wiri in South Auckland, Mt Maunganui & Longburn, Manawatu.

The Tainui iwi’s Tainui Group Holdings Ltd is establishing a much larger inland port in Hamilton, intended to cover 480ha of a total 820ha of rezoned space at Ruakura.

Mr Gibson said the Horotiu hub was part of Ports of Auckland’s strategy to support regional growth with freight hubs next to rail in regions that generate significant volumes of exports.

“The freight hub network will contribute to lower freight costs, reduces carbon emissions and offer a wider range of shipping services to North Island exporters & importers. The hub provides future customers with a unique opportunity. Businesses will be able to have their own sites with customised warehouse design & layout.”

Until the rail connection for Horotiu is built, freight will travel by road to Hamilton and then by rail to Ports of Auckland’s Waitemata Harbour sea port.

Attribution: Company release.

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4 northern greenway reports up for approval

The Rodney Local Board has 4 feasibility reports on greenway routes to approve on Thursday.

They assess the feasibility of developing priority greenway routes within Kumeu, Omaha, Riverhead & Wellsford.

The reports outline routes for shared walkway & cycleways, creating connections between green open spaces & residential subdivisions.

In a summary for the board meeting, Auckland Council senior growth development specialist Angela Levet said the need for landowner approval for public access had been identified in 5 places.

The local board has held 2 workshops on the report drafts and had indicated support for the key findings.

Ms Levet said budget had been allocated this financial year for design & resource consent for one or more priority routes, but the board wanted another workshop to determine the routes to be progressed first.

Links:
Local board agenda item: 13, Rodney greenways – feasibility studies (Kumeu, Omaha, Riverhead & Wellsford)
Kumeu River greenway feasibility study report    
Omaha greenways feasibility study report    
Riverhead, Victoria St greenway feasibility study report    
Centennial Park greenway feasibility study report
Bob Dey Property Report diary, week 17-23 September 2018

Attribution: Board agenda.

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Rodney’s transport targeted rate programme up for board approval

The Rodney Local Board will decide on Thursday on performance measures & proposed bus routes to be funded under the board’s transport targeted rate.

The board proposed the rate last year and put figures on it when it sent its 10-year budget out for consultation. It investigated options for a targeted rate to bring forward $41 million worth of investment in transport services and infrastructure in Rodney over the next 10 years, and proposed a rate of $150/year per dwelling or business premise.

The proposal Auckland Transport has asked the board to approve on Thursday would fund:

  • Huapai-Westgate bus service increased frequency (effectively providing a 15-minute service out of Huapai, in the peak)
  • Riverhead-Westgate bus service
  • Huapai park-&-ride (investigation)
  • Warkworth park-&-ride
  • Proposed road seal extension programme, and
  • Proposed footpath programme.

The report for Thursday’s meeting also provides:

  • a summary of the board’s transport targeted rate projects list, and
  • a progress update about projects & activities funded by that rate.

Using the rate, Auckland Transport will also investigate & design:

  • the new Wellsford-Warkworth bus route planned to start no later than February 2019, and
  • Helensville-Silverdale (via Kaukapakapa) bus route, also planned to start by February, which is subject to NZ Transport Agency subsidy approval.

Link:
20 September 2018 agenda item: Rodney transport targeted rate update

Related story:
Bob Dey Property Report diary, week 17-23 September 2018

Attribution: Board agenda.

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