House-and-land project start a thrill for mayor

Turning a sod on Poole St for the Kaitangata house-and-land package project are (from left)...
Turning a sod on Poole St for the Kaitangata house-and-land package project are (from left) builder Mark Van Asperen, Kaitangata Promotions Group secretary Joyce Beck, Clutha District Mayor Bryan Cadogan and project co-ordinator Evan Dick. PHOTO: JOHN COSGROVE
Clutha District Council has signed off the first of its own turn-key house-and-land build packages in Kaitangata, after the project was announced to international fanfare two years ago.

Following ``extensive'' behind-the-scenes work, several of the district's signature building projects were starting to become realities, Clutha Mayor Bryan Cadogan said.

He urged continued public patience, however, as such projects ``took time''.

The landmark new build in the South Otago town was announced by council chief executive Steve Hill at a recent council meeting.

``The council has two possible sites on Wyre St and we will be building one house there. Then, when it's substantially built, we may look at building another, if council wants to,'' Mr Hill said.

Having received ``thousands'' of voice and emails from prospective Kaitangata residents worldwide when the project was first announced in May 2016, Mr Cadogan said he was thrilled it was finally under way.

``It's about redefining the town, making people and the country aware of Kaitangata.

``So many good people have got off their backsides and are actually doing something, but the reality of any project is that it will take time.''

Anyone building a house by themselves would be aware of the challenges involved, he said.

This project was no different.

``It's not simply building a house, it's creating a whole new project, so it has taken time.''

He said the undertaking had demonstrated the determination of the groups involved to keep it going.

``People built of lesser stuff might have given up by now. I can't applaud enough the work by a large number of people such as Joyce Beck, Evan Dick and Dallas Storer to get it this far.''

Kaitangata Promotions group member and project co-ordinator Mr Dick said what started as an idea had become so much more.

``We've actually got lots of houses coming, but it just takes time,'' he said.

Mr Dick said he was amazed at the tenacity of the town, as everyone wanted to work together to help Kaitangata grow.

Mr Cadogan was similarly bullish on future prospects for the district as a whole.

``We're on a precipice of so many projects blossoming in the district this spring.''

john.cosgrove@odt.co.nz

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