Fast track referrals will speed up recovery and boost jobs and home building


The Government is taking action to increase jobs, speed up the economic recovery and build houses by putting three more projects through its fast track approval process.

“It’s great to see that the fast-track consenting process is working. Today we have referred a mix of potential projects that, if approved, will support an Auckland development and provide a much needed boost to two of our provinces,” Environment Minister David Parker said.

The projects approved for consideration under the fast-track consenting Act are the Dominion Road mixed use commercial and residential development in Auckland, the Ohinewai Foam Factory in Huntly and The Vines Subdivision in Richmond.

“Speeding up the consenting process means that these projects have the potential to sooner deliver much needed jobs and promote regional economic growth,” he said.

“If the three projects gain approval, it is estimated together they could create more than 2000 jobs during the construction phase, and around 200 permanent jobs once the projects are completed, as well as enable up to 160 new dwellings.

“The projects will provide housing in a provincial area that is experiencing high demand, diversify economies and support well-functioning urban environments across the country.”

The COVID-19 Recovery (Fast-track Consenting) Act 2020 is one of the Government’s levers to boost jobs, speed up infrastructure development and improve environmental outcomes in response to the economic impacts of COVID-19.

It does not replace or circumvent the current Resource Management Act 1991 environmental test, but it provides alternative pathways for speeding up decisions on resource consents and designations while ensuring that environmental safeguards and Treaty of Waitangi and Treaty settlement obligations are maintained.

The fast-track process has already seen the Matawii Water Storage Reservoir in Kaikohe approved by an expert consenting panel. The decision was made in about half the time it would have taken under the Resource Management Act, assuming there was no appeal.

A decision on the applications is expected to be made by the expert panel in early 2021.

Editor’s note:

The Dominion Road mixed use commercial and residential development in Auckland. It includes a two to six storey building to accommodate a supermarket, retail and office and commercial businesses. Includes about 117 dwellings and associated carparking. A mix of one, mostly two, and three bedroom terrace housing and apartments around a central courtyard.

The Ohinewai Foam Factory in Huntly. The project is in three parts: Preparatory earthworks, construction of the factory (which makes foam such as for use in bedding and couches), and rail siding works.  Potential for future expansion to include employees’ housing.

The Vines subdivision in Richmond. Development of 48 residential sections, on which affordable homes can be built, It includes roading, three waters infrastructure and reserves.

Two further projects were referred earlier this month:

Primeproperty Group’s 12-storey Molesworth Street office building development in Wellington including retail/café space, lobby space, loading bays and a basement carpark.

Ryman Healthcare’s Kohimarama Comprehensive Care Retirement Village providing for 123 independent apartments, 173 hospital care beds and specialist facilities.