Council continues to seek long-term housing solutions for Ōpōtiki
In May, Ōpōtiki District Council was advised that their application to Kāinga Ora’s Infrastructure Acceleration Fund had been unsuccessful for funding wastewater, stormwater and transport growth in the Hukutaia area.
At the council meeting on Tuesday 31 May, Ōpōtiki Mayor, Lyn Riesterer, expressed her disappointment but was reassured that some progress was still possible.
“The Hukutaia plan is council’s way of looking ahead for 50 years and drawing a roadmap for our own planning and for other agencies like education and health. It is one way we can make very clear where we want to encourage people to build and develop. Hukutaia is close to amenities but away from some of the longer-term flooding risks and space restrictions we have down on the flats. It ticks a lot of boxes for larger-scale development and potential for staged growth.
“So I think it is reassuring that our revised Hukutaia plan is still able to provide us with that opportunity, although possibly at a slower pace or funded in a different way.
“While we have missed this short-term opportunity, Hukutaia remains a longer-term aspiration. Council can continue to work with those that have indicated an interest in developing and how we can progress that. We’ll also continue our work with key agencies to keep plans moving forward to help us in this housing crisis.
“If there is one thing that our decades of work on the harbour have taught us is that there is always another way, a different workaround, a changed approach and a new opportunity. We heard a lot of “no” from a lot of places for our harbour vision before we finally found a “yes” and it was worth the work and the wait,” Mayor Riesterer said.