Horowhenua Mayor Bernie Wanden has welcomed the Government investment that will fast-track the development of residential land to the southeast of Levin.
Work will begin later this year to install the necessary infrastructure for the proposed Taraika residential development on 400 hectares of land previously known as Gladstone Green.
Initially thought to be developed over the next decade, the fast tracking of the project is possible thanks to a $25M investment by Crown Infrastructure Partners in shovel-ready projects.
The proposed development will be home to approximately 2,500 homes, parks, reserves, a local shopping centre, an education facility, stormwater retention areas, and several roads and a shared pathway will connect the development with Levin.
Mayor Bernie Wanden said Taraika is a transformational project that will directly employ up to 280 people in fulltime roles.
“Horowhenua has been named as a growth area for the Greater Wellington Region as we will soon be less than an hour’s drive from downtown Wellington.”
“We estimate that we’ll need to build 400 homes annually for ten years, but to do that we need more land zoned as residential.”
The government funding has fast-tracked the project in the form of cash and loans, however Council is still working through the process of fully funding the project – much of which is expected to come from developers.
Council developed the Master Plan in partnership with landowners, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency, the Ministry of Education and Muaūpoko Tribal Authority Inc.
Muaūpoko gifted the name ‘Taraika’ to continue the thousand-year-old native custom known as Take Taunaha, essentially a statement that confirms Muaūpoko as Tangata-whenua. Other examples are: Tararua Ranges, Whanganui a Tara, Roto a Tara and the full name of Kāpiti Island.
Muaūpoko Tribal Authority Chair, Tim Tukapua said it is auspicious to commemorate Taraika, our ancestor who settled this region over a thousand years ago as te Iwi o Ngai Tara; Muaūpoko are the people of Ngai Tara.
Horowhenua District Council Chief Executive David Clapperton said Council developed the Taraika Master Plan to ensure the new development was well connected with Levin and will be developed alongside the Ōtaki to north of Levin Expressway.
“We want to ensure that Taraika is part of Levin so that means good connections over the expressway for vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists.”
Group Manager Infrastructure Development Brent Maguire said Council Officers have been progressing plans in the background in order to make a shovel-ready start on the project in the next few months.
“The project will design and build the infrastructure needed to progress the new residential area. We are committed to having the right infrastructure in place for housing our growing population.”
Meanwhile, a public engagement process is underway on the Taraika Master Plan. You can find out more here. Feedback gathered through the engagement process will be used by Council Officers to refine the Draft Master Plan and District Plan Change. Following this, a Proposed District Plan Change will be formally notified allowing for submissions and a hearing to be held.