Cheap financing a big boost to the RiverLink project


Lower Hutt's RiverLink project has received a big boost, with a loan that will significantly reduce the cost of borrowing.

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Lower Hutt’s RiverLink project has received a big boost, with a loan that will significantly reduce the cost of borrowing.

The RiverLink project in Lower Hutt received a major boost with the Greater Wellington Regional Council having access to cheap funding for flood protection works.

The council will secure a $ 227 million loan for work that will include improving the banks on either side of the Hutt River, and deepening and widening the canal to protect the downtown area from flooding on 440 year.

Work on the channel will also improve the health of the river, which has experienced persistent toxic algae problems in recent years.

“By making more room for the river, we can create more habitat for fish, including undercut pools and banks – places where trout, native eels and white bait will thrive,” said regional council chairman Daran Ponter.

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The regional council, along with Wellington City Council, are the first local authorities to obtain so-called green loans from the Local Government Funding Agency (LGFA). They are financed at a lower rate than that usually offered by the agency.

The loan for Riverlink is also good news for taxpayers, who will save up to $ 113,000 each year over the life of the project, which will reshape downtown Lower Hutt.

Hutt City Mayor Campbell Barry said access to the new fund was “fantastic news”.

“The project is not only essential for the resilience of Lower Hutt, it also aims to improve the health of the waterway, which is good for our city.

The Wellington Convention Center is under construction and is expected to open to the public in 2023.

Ross Giblin / Stuff

The Wellington Convention Center is under construction and is expected to open to the public in 2023.

Wellington City Council will also benefit from the new fundraising program. It will borrow up to $ 180 million for the construction of Tākina, the Wellington Convention and Exhibition Center.

Due to its opening in 2023, Tākina received a five-star design rating from the New Zealand Green Building Council for a design that reduces energy use by 60% and carbon emissions by 66%, compared to newer ones. standard constructions.

Mayor Andy Foster said features like the rainwater harvesting system, smart air conditioning and thermal insulation would minimize Tākina’s environmental impact and lower operating costs.

The loan could save Wellington taxpayers up to $ 7.2 million in interest over the life of the building.

LGFA chief executive Mark Butcher said the agency recognizes the risks posed by climate change in boards and is keen to support the shift to a low-carbon economy.

“We also recognize that we have a role to play in helping member boards build a stronger and more resilient society through ambitious environmental and social projects,” said Butcher.

“This loan will allow the local government sector to achieve green and sustainable results.”


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