Ruapehu District housing construction receives funding

  • Hon Shane Jones

A construction project in Ruapehu that will deliver more social and affordable housing in the region while stimulating the local economy and creating jobs will receiving government funding, Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones says.

Ruapehu District Council will receive $7.78 million to jump-start its Housing Options programme, beginning with new homes to be built on council land in Taumarunui.

“Tourism is a big contributor to Ruapehu’s economy. While domestic visitors make up the majority, it is important that the region looks for other ways to boost the local economy and get people into work,” Shane Jones said.

“This project will do that, but will also provide the district with a much-needed increase in social housing. It will also add to affordable housing stock for workers in key industries such as manufacturing, agriculture and essential workers like police and teachers.”

Ruapehu District Council has estimated that the programme could create as many as 300 jobs, and the activity would help replace the revenue lost from tourism and associated industries more quickly.

It is planned that the builds will take place in stages over the next few years, providing ongoing economic stimulus and job opportunities in the district.

The funding for the project will come from the $3 billion set aside for infrastructure projects in the Government’s COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund.

“This building work is a great example of central and local government working together to fill a need. The council has recognised the need for more social and affordable housing in addition to that provided through the Government as our regional populations grow.

“It also means that the local economy and businesses get a boost at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic is putting pressure on our resources,” Shane Jones said.

Note to editors:

All approvals are in principle and subject to contract negotiations. Investment values are also subject to change.

The funding announced today is part of the $3 billion infrastructure package in the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund, announced by Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Shane Jones on July 1. The fund is expected to deliver more than 20,000 jobs across New Zealand and unlock investment with a project value of more than $5 billion.