The partnership between local government, central government and iwi is critical to progressing Hamilton’s newest neighbourhood for development, said Hamilton’s Mayor Paula Southgate.
Hamilton City Council has awarded its biggest ever construction contract to HEB Construction for the new transport network to open the Peacocke neighbourhood. The $135M project includes construction of a new bridge over the Waikato River and surrounding roads. Physical work is set to get under way in October this year.
Mayor Southgate said the massive milestone reflected the strong commitment between partners to work together and prioritise the building of much-needed homes, as well as community facilities and the wider environment.
“This is about a new way of doing things. It’s about building a vibrant new community and not just allowing for houses and roads,” she said.
“This has been decades of planning and actually getting the work under way will fundamentally change the shape of the city and the way we get around. The new Waikato River bridge will be the new gateway into the city from the south. It provides a vital connection that opens up more housing, improves our regional connections and will support our central city.”
“This milestone represents more than 30 years of hard work from many different groups, including past councils. This really is something to celebrate.”
Today’s announcement will boost the local and regional economy which has suffered the impacts of COVID-19, Mayor Southgate said.
“HEB Construction has a large and long-term local presence in Hamilton and the Waikato. The contract includes significant use of local subcontractors and suppliers, so a big portion of the contract spend will be right here in the local economy and that’s important.
“There’s also an opportunity to upskill local people through training and apprenticeships on the job.”
The wider Peacocke programme is estimated to bring in $6B of benefits to the city in the next 30 years.
A partnership with the Southern Links Tangata Whenua Working Group, which represent the interests of Waikato-Tainui and the four local hapuu in the wider Southern Links project, had been crucial to progress, said Mayor Southgate.
“Working with mana whenua and others is a key part of our commitment to making sure Peacocke is more than just housing. We want a city based on a long-term, sustainable vision that future generations will be proud of.”
Peacocke is the city’s biggest ever investment in the environment, she said.
The project includes 15 hectares of gully restoration, around 30 wetland areas and more than 100,000 new native plants, in addition to landscaping for the roads themselves. Lighting and structural features on the bridge will minimise the impact on the native long-tailed bats and the surrounding environment both during construction, and when it is operational.
“Planned and sustainable growth is critical to the future success of our city and region. The start of this project is a significant moment in our city’s history so I’m really excited.”
Construction of the new bridge and transport network is expected to be complete late 2023.
Peacocke is being built with the support from the Government’s Housing Infrastructure Fund, made up of a $180.3M 10-year interest-free loan and $110.1M of Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency subsidies.
The Peacocke programme will deliver a new bridge, main roads, parks, and strategic water, wastewater and stormwater networks. Other work includes protecting and enhancing the environment, including the extensive gully system, and investigating community facilities which are also important parts of creating a new community in Peacocke.
When completed, Peacocke will be home for up to 20,000 Hamiltonians.