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Councils and government 'to work together on growth issues'

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The Council agreed to join an urban growth partnership with the government, to work together on growth issues for the greater Christchurch region.

At its Council meeting this week, the Council approved a Memorandum of Agreement to form the Greater Christchurch Urban Growth Partnership between national and local government and iwi.

Urban Growth Partnerships are partnerships between the Crown, local government and iwi to advance the government’s Urban Growth Agenda (UGA).

The greater Christchurch agreement will be between the Christchurch City, Selwyn and Wamakariri councils, along with Environment Canterbury and Ngai Tahu, in partnership with government.

Its aims will be for the parties to work together to address growth issues to help improve housing affordability, choice and location, along with improving access to employment and education, assist in emissions reduction and climate change resilience and avoid unnecessary urban sprawl.

The partnership will work in parallel with the existing greater Christchurch partnership of local and regional councils and Ngai Tahu and sets ongoing regular meetings with cabinet ministers to discuss urban growth issues and the input government could have to support that.

It will include a focus on transport and building issues including mass rapid transport.

The partnership, which is expected to be finalised in October, will be a major step forward for the region, Selwyn Mayor Sam Broughton says.

"Greater Christchurch is the second largest urban area in the country, but until now we haven’t had a regular agreement with government or a forum to present the greater Christchurch story together.

"This gives us a clear seat at the table, meeting with ministers on a regular basis to discuss what matters to our communities and advocate for decisions that meet our needs."

Greater Christchurch Partnership Committee members Mayor Broughton and Councillors Sophie McInnes and Malcolm Lyall will represent Selwyn on the partnership committee.

Council funds additional community roading projects

The Glentunnel to Whitecliffs cycleway and other projects will be funded by the Council using available roading funds.

The Council confirmed it would use $1 million set aside for roading projects in the next year to fund the projects that were declined for funding by Waka Kotahi New Zealand Transport Authority.

Waka Kotahi confirmed the Council’s funded programme has increased overall from $45 million to $57 million over three years-a 26% increase overall for the projects it funds-.

Waka Kotahi funded projects are funded jointly with the Council with the transport agency funding 51%. However, Waka Kotahi declined the Council’s request to fund a number of low cost/low risk projects.

These include the Glentunnel to Whitecliffs cycleway, school frontage safety upgrades, small bridge replacements and the Council’s annual footpath extension programme.

Under the Long-Term Plan 2021-2031 the Council set aside $1 million annually for three years to fund roading project shortfalls. At its meeting this week, the Council confirmed it would use these funds to ensure these projects were completed.

Any funds remaining once the work programmes are completed will be allocated to further road programmes.

-This does not include the other transport activities Council fully funds itself and other individual major projects.

Renewed waste minimisation work supported

The Council voted to support a new Canterbury wide effort in waste reduction.

It supported the creation of a new full time role reporting to the Canterbury Waste Joint Committee to coordinate between councils and progress waste minimisation and management initiatives across the region.

Council Solid Waste Manager Andrew Boyd said the new position would support a continuing effort by Canterbury councils to reduce waste to landfill and help prepare for a range of new national initiatives and legislation changes to address waste issues.

The role will oversee a range of measures to reduce waste including developing a regional action plan. The move would help align and support individual councils’ efforts. The Waimakariri District and Christchurch City Councils have also supported the move, with other Canterbury Councils expected to also support the intiative. The role would be funded from the waste levy, meaning there would be no impact on rates.

Selwyn is engaged in several waste reduction initiatives including a major building project at the Pines Resource Recovery Park, which will lead to increased recycling and reusables options and will add a reuse shop, salvage material yard, education centre, garden hub and micro-enterprise units to make products out of waste.

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