Taraika Infrastructure

  • Project typeConstruction of infrastructure
  • Project scheduleStage One: wastewater pipe installation on Queen St. East (December 2020)
  • Contractor nameHorowhenua Alliance (Stage One)
Taraika Master Plan Map - Thumbnail.

Background

Taraika is currently zoned ‘Green Zone Residential Deferred’ and is an identified Growth Area in Horowhenua.

The Taraika Master Plan was created in partnership with landowners and iwi. Some key points of the project include:

  • The construction of the roundabout at SH57 / Queen Street and a Tararua Road / SH57 roundabout will improve access to the new residential area and ensure the development feels connected to Levin / Taitoko. During its construction, Council will install larger three-waters pipes under the roundabout to cater to the new residential area – this approach will keep costs and disruption down.
  • Taraika will boast a safe, attractive urban environment that encourages walking and cycling and is supported by a network of parks and reserves.
  • The Ō2NL Expressway will be built alongside Taraika, and Council is working with Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency (WKNZTA) to ensure that Ō2NL does not divide Levin.
  • The Ministry of Education is planning a potential new primary school as local kura are reaching capacity.
  • 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.
  • We are investigating low impact urban design techniques, and the proposed District Plan Change includes the requirement for houses to have onsite stormwater tanks.

Initially, Council anticipated the project would take up to twenty years to build and develop the site.

In 2020, the Government appealed for shovel-ready projects that would help New Zealand weather the economic effects of COVID-19. Horowhenua District Council sought funding to build infrastructure for Taraika as it will help alleviate the housing crisis.

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.

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 will deliver Stage One with Tatana Contracting.

Timeline

Name Work Start Date
Stage One - Queen St East enabling works Wastewater December 2020
Stage Two - Queen St Service Wastewater
June 2021
 Stormwater pre Ō2NL June 2021

Further stages are in development and this table will be updated in 2021.

FAQs

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 is currently out for submissions – 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. The submission process ends on 1 February 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.