Minister to announce waterfront funding

Dunedin's harbourside vision. Image: Architecture Van Brandenburg
Dunedin's harbourside vision. Image: Architecture Van Brandenburg
The Government is set to announce financial support for Dunedin's multimillion-dollar waterfront development project.

Shane Jones
Shane Jones
Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones will be in Dunedin tomorrow to announce funding from the Provincial Growth Fund. 

The announcement will start at Toitu at 2.30pm and be followed by a tour of the waterfront site.

The Government has committed to investing $1 billion per annum over three years in regional economic development. 

A spokeswoman for the minister said the region was making great progress identifying projects which were priorities and could meet the criteria of the fund.

"Our officials are continually talking to key stakeholders in the region and the minister is confident that the region will see further investment through the PGF."

The concept for the waterfront area includes an array of new signature buildings and public spaces.

Key projects could include a ferry terminal, marine science building and public aquarium, a five-star hotel and the cockleshell-shaped cultural centre.

The plan has been described as a 30-year one. The Dunedin City Council has already voted to support a $20 million architecturally designed bridge connecting the CBD and the waterfront area.

The rest of the project would be funded by a mix of private and public funding.

In November last year, Mr Jones indicated the Government was keen to support the ambitious plan.

The project would need widespread support from the public, as well as civic and business leaders, if the Government was to dip into its new development fund, he said.

But if those hurdles were cleared, and analysis backed Dunedin's waterfront development plan, advocates for the project "would be pushing on an open door with me as minister''.

"It sounds like this particular proposal is heading in the right direction. Anything to do with harboursides ... is likely to get a tick from me,'' he said.

The concept has received widespread public support.

Key stakeholders in the area - the Otago Regional Council, Port Otago, Ngai Tahu and the Dunedin City Council - have also backed the concept, although some businesses neighbouring the potential development zone are more circumspect.

Comments

Very encouraging news. The commitment by DCC to build a "vanity bridge to nowhere" has probably helped to secure funding from the government for the development as a whole. It's just a matter now of seeing how much is forthcoming.

The minister has a big bucket of money to play with, Dunedin may as well try to get as much of it as possible.