Fast track referrals will speed up recovery and boost jobs and home building

The Government is taking action to increase jobs, speed up the economic recovery and build houses by putting three more projects through its fast track approval process.

The projects approved for consideration under the fast-track consenting Act are the Dominion Road mixed use commercial and residential development in Auckland, the Ohinewai Foam Factory in Huntly and The Vines Subdivision in Richmond.

Environment Minister David Parker said“If the three projects gain approval, it is estimated together they could create more than 2000 jobs during the construction phase, and around 200 permanent jobs once the projects are completed, as well as enable up to 160 new dwellings.”

The COVID-19 Recovery (Fast-track Consenting) Act 2020 is one of the Government’s levers to boost jobs, speed up infrastructure development and improve environmental outcomes in response to the economic impacts of COVID-19.

It does not replace or circumvent the current Resource Management Act 1991 environmental test, but it provides alternative pathways for speeding up decisions on resource consents and designations while ensuring that environmental safeguards and Treaty of Waitangi and Treaty settlement obligations are maintained.

The fast-track process has already seen the Matawii Water Storage Reservoir in Kaikohe approved by an expert consenting panel. The decision was made in about half the time it would have taken under the Resource Management Act, assuming there was no appeal.