Ōpōtiki District Council has had a record-breaking period for building consents, with five large-value building works with a combined value of $19.5million, all granted consent in the last quarter.
The building consents cover five major building works expected to begin shortly – Te Tāhuhu o Te Rangi, the new Ōpōtiki pound, new school and related buildings in Te Kaha, Stage 2 of Whakatōhea's mussel processing factory and a new (and much needed) local dentist on Church Street.
Two of these building projects are directly run by Ōpōtiki District Council – the pound and the new research centre, library and community hub, Te Tāhuhu o Te Rangi.
The new pound, to be built in the same location as the existing facilities, will meet the Ministry of Primary Industry guidelines and add capacity and security that the current facility doesn't have.
Gerard McCormack, Council's Planning and Regulatory Group Manager, said that the tender for the new facilities had been combined with Te Tāhuhu o Te Rangi. Subject to the tender process, building work is expected to be completed within the next 12 months.
"The new facilities will be under cover which will be better for animals as well as staff. And the new build will also have a separate area for puppies which we have real difficulties housing in the current building as there is very little indoor space that is warm enough to keep them. It'll also have better storage and staff facilities and more areas under cover so it will also be easier for people looking to visit to find a dog to rehome," Mr McCormack said.
In addition, phase one works on the mussel processing factory are already nearing completion with most underground works and foundations laid. The building consent approved earlier this month, is for the final stage of works to build the large processing building on the site.
The new school facility in Te Kaha has five associated standalone buildings for staff housing. The school housing project recently received a building consent and work is already underway using local suppliers. Another school project, a new roof for the gym at Ōpōtiki High, has also had their building consent approved.
And finally, a building consent was approved in March and issued in May for a new dental practice in Church Street.
"We have also had a lot of requests for advice and pre-application meetings in recent weeks, so we expect a lot of new and exciting projects in the coming financial year," Mr McCormack said.
Next steps for Te Tāhuhu o Te Rangi
Te Tāhuhu o Te Rangi, the new research and technology centre replacing Ōpōtiki's old library building on the corner of Church and King Streets is taking shape this month with building consents in place and tenders closing this week for demolition and construction works.
Ōpōtiki District Council Chief Executive, Aileen Lawrie, said that council had put out a call to local contractors, sub-contractors and suppliers to ensure that tenderers for the construction works had the opportunity to employ as many locals as possible.
"As always, we strongly encourage local companies to tender for all Council contracts, particularly this one which is so central to our vision for a revitalised town centre with a safer and fit-for-purpose building acting as a community hub in the town centre.
"We had an excellent response from a wide range of local contractors and businesses who showed their interest in being part of the successful contractor's tender for either the new pound or Te Tāhuhu o Te Rangi.
"We passed on those details to tenderers to allow them to make decisions about what sort of arrangements could work to meet tender expectations," Ms Lawrie said.
Council expects to award the contract and make an announcement in the coming weeks.