A SURGE of building consent applications indicates strong economic growth in Kawerau.

Consents valued at more than $3.5 million have been lodged with the Kawerau District Council in the year-to-date from 1 July to 30 September 2020.

This compares with a total of $4.5 million for the entire 2019/2020 financial year.  

Kawerau District Council chief executive Russell George said the increase was a positive sign despite the uncertainty bought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Totaling $3.5 million, these consents largely represent positive economic growth brought about by the Council’s housing developments and various commercial projects.”

The new financial year started on a high with Council receiving consent applications valued at $2,064,804 in July 2020.

August applications totalled $387,000 and in September consents valued at $1,066,500 were lodged.

The largest proportion of applications valued at $2,749,000 were for seven new homes, six of which are at the Council’s Central Cove housing development.

“It is positive to see the benefits of the Central Cove housing development which is bringing in new investment to the district, providing additional housing and adding to the ratepayer base.”

Council also issued consents for two new commercial projects with a combined value of $460,000.

Russell George said this building surge looked set to continue in the second quarter of the 2020/21 financial year as Council is expecting lodgment of the building consents for the second stage of the Porritt Glade Lifestyle Village.

“These consents represent another $1.5 million in value for the second stage of the Porritt Glade Lifestyle Village which the Council is completing in partnership with Generation Homes. The second stage comprises another six units at the Council’s retirement village and three of these are already under contract.”  

Further economic growth is expected in Kawerau as investment into major infrastructure projects through the Government’s Provincial Growth Fund starts to come into the region.

“The PGF grants will provide a further boost to the economy of the district and the region, with short-term construction work then leading to longer-term employment opportunities.”