Nowhere to grow?

By: Steve Morris

Straight from city council
A personal view,
by Councillor Steve Morris

In last week’s column we discussed critical transport projects going on hold throughout the city because NZTA hasn’t yet confirmed co-funding with Council. It’s a serious issue; the consequences go beyond the traffic frustration we all feel and impact on housing affordability too.

The government sold itself to the electorate as addressing the housing crisis, yet in Tauranga it’s actually becoming worse as a result of their decisions. More than 215 new homes in Bethlehem are on hold because the Tauranga Northern Link was cancelled. The situation is worse in Tauriko with the delivery of 3,000 homes up in the air because NZTA can’t decide whether to fund improvements on State Highway 29.

In Te Tumu, there are 7,700 future homes dependant on confirmation of NZTA co-funding of the Papamoa East Interchange and associated roads. Constrained supply of housing has led to skyrocketing rents and is evident at its basest level with more residents living in cars and tents. However, the message from our community is clear, without roads there cannot be further growth.

To be fair to the government, they are working on some solutions to help fund infrastructure in growing cities but for the moment their pivot away from spending taxes on roads is a man-made disaster. The ball is in Phil Twyford’s court, as Minister of both Transport and Housing he can resurrect two birds with one act by partnering with TCC ratepayers to fund a better roading network.