Taraika Infrastructure

  • Project typeInfrastructure for growth
  • Project scheduleConstruction of enabling infrastructure between 2020-2024
  • Contractor nameHiggins Contractors Levin (Water & Wastewater Main - Tararua Road & Cambridge Street)
Taraika Master Plan Map - Thumbnail.


Taraika was first identified as a growth area in the Horowhenua Development Plan 2008. Currently, a Proposed District Plan Change is underway to change the zoning of the land that will introduce new rules to enable development.

The Taraika development is a $38.1million project that will provide services to allow the private sector to build >2,500 more houses and local commercial area. The project was selected in 2020 to receive funding from Crown Infrastructure Partners (CIP) as part of the “shovel-ready” fund to support recovery from impacts of the coronavirus.

Taraika is a 400ha residential and mixed-use growth cell on the eastern edge of Levin. The project is primarily focused on delivering Three Waters, roading networks, and Council-managed community infrastructure (parks and sporting fields).

To date, we have constructed new sections of the wastewater network and upgraded the wastewater main down Queen Street East (delivered by Horowhenua Alliance).

Now, Higgins Contractors Levin will construct new sections and upgrade the existing wastewater main up Tararua Road (West) and Cambridge Street (South). The work will also require an upgrade to part of the water main on Cambridge Street.

The development is being built alongside planning for Waka Kotahi Transport Agency’s Ō2NL expressway.



Who are we working with?

  • Crown Infrastructure Partners: Our funders.
  • Landowners: Those who own large land holdings in Taraika.
  • WKNZTA: We are partnering with WKNZTA which is planning to deliver the Ōtaki to North of Levin Expressway (Ō2NL). We hope to ensure that:
    • Levin and Taraika are connected once Ō2NL runs through our town
    • The interchanges are in the right places for future growth
    • The process of revocation runs smoothly
    • Infrastructure built for Taraika is future-proofed.
  • Muaūpoko Tribal Authority: Our Treaty partners
  • Horowhenua Alliance: The contractor (owned by Council and Downer New Zealand) that delivered Stage One with Tatana Contracting.
  • Higgins Contractors Levin: The contractor delivering the construction of new sections and upgrading the existing wastewater main up Tararua Road (West) and Cambridge Street (South) and upgrading the water main on Cambridge Street.


Where is Taraika located?

To the south-east of Levin, between State Highway 57 and the foothills of the Tararua Ranges.

Why have you chosen this area to develop?

Taraika was first identified as a Growth Area by Council in the Horowhenua Development Plan in 2008 and again in the Horowhenua Growth Strategy 2040 in 2018. Both processes went through a public engagement process. Several landowners were planning to build separate subdivisions on the land. Given it was a growth area, Council contacted the landowners and iwi and created a master plan to create a connected community.

Will current homeowners be required to subdivide and develop their properties?

No, current home and landowners in the area will not be required to leave.

Have you engaged with iwi?

We are working with the Muaūpoko Tribal Authority and made approaches to local hapū, and engagement will continue throughout the project.

When does the construction of infrastructure start?

Infrastructure work on Stage One, a wastewater pipe on Queen Street East, started on 4 December 2020. Other work will occur in phases over the next four to five years.

How will stormwater be dealt with?

The intention is for nearly all stormwater to be stored on site. Stormwater will be held in wetlands and basins to manage the water quality, and eventually drain into the groundwater.

Where is the funding coming from?

The Government through Crown Infrastructure Partners is funding two-thirds of the cost of the project – one third via a concessionary loan, one third via a grant. The Council will fund the final third through co-infrastructure funding agreements and contributions from developers.

The retail area – how big will it be?

The Summerhill Shopping Centre on the outskirts of Palmerston North is a useful guide as to the size – a small supermarket, café and takeaway shops etc.

What sort of school will be built there?

The Ministry of Education is interested in building a primary school in Taraika, the timing of that is not yet known.

How many jobs will it create?

Up to 280 full-time positions will be directly created through this project. We anticipate several hundred more support and supply chain roles.

How much housing will be provided?

The development will provide approximately 2,500 houses – homes for between 5,000 to 7,000 people.

Who will build the houses?

The landowners may build houses on their land, or they may work with specialist builders to do so.

Will all the houses look the same?

The intention is that Taraika has mixed-density zones which will help ensure different types of housing are built. However, house design is something that is controlled by the developer, not Council.

What public consultation is being held?

Public consultation for the Proposed District Plan Change 4: Taraika Growth Area opened in November 2020 – Council is proposing to change the current zoning from Greenbelt Residential Deferred to multiple zones: Greenbelt Residential, Low-Density Residential, Standard Residential, Medium Density Residential, Commercial and Open Space. Submissions closed on 1 February 2021, with further submissions opening on 26 February 2021 and closing on 15 March 2021. Submissions will be heard on 17-19 November 2021.

Haven’t you jumped the gun? What happens if the proposed Plan Change is not approved?

No. The current zoning of Greenbelt Residential Deferred allows for the construction of subdivisions subject to meeting various conditions. Regardless of whether the proposed plan change is adopted or not, the land in question will be converted to housing. The infrastructure we are putting in will service homes in Taraika.

Who are the key stakeholders?

  • Landowners
  • Crown Infrastructure Partners
  • Muaūpoko Tribal Authority
  • Horowhenua Alliance (Council and Downers NZ)
  • Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency
  • Ministry of Education.

How will Taraika be affected by the Ōtaki to North of Levin Expressway (Ō2NL)?

Horowhenua District Council and Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency are committed to ensuring the infrastructure built for Taraika is future-proofed regardless of the final route of the expressway which will be confirmed next year.

When will houses be built?

We expect construction of the first houses may start in late 2021.

How will residents/pedestrians of the new development access Levin CBD safely once Taraika and Ō2NL are built?

The proposal is for Queen Street and Tararua Roads to connect traffic from east to west. There are also dedicated pedestrian bridges proposed between Queen Street and Tararua Road.