15 July 2020

The Masterton District Council is welcoming the Government’s commitment of $11.3 million for community assets.

Finance Minister Grant Robertson announced the funding commitment at Hood Aerodrome this afternoon as part of the Government’s package to kick-start economies post COVID-19.

It includes $10 million for infrastructure upgrades at Hood Aerodrome and $1.3 million for the redevelopment of Masterton’s skatepark.

The Hood Aerodrome upgrade project has a total budget of $17 million and includes work to widen and extend the runway, including road realignments, lighting, electrical, water and wastewater upgrades, and additional security.

The skatepark project covers a complete redevelopment of the existing skatepark on Dixon Street, following a community-led project driving the upgrade.

Masterton Mayor Lyn Patterson said the funding was welcome at a time when good news was sorely needed.

“We are yet to understand the full impact of COVID-19 on our community, but we will not be left unscathed. The creation of more than 50 jobs during both these construction projects will help mitigate this impact on the construction sector, which has already shown indications of a slowdown,” Lyn said.

“The funding for Hood Aerodrome will enable us to transform this treasured asset into a modern, functional airport with increased capacity over the longer-term.

“I’m expecting this significant infrastructure upgrade project to motivate existing businesses to expand and new business ventures to set up at Hood Aerodrome in the coming years. The opportunity this presents includes the creation of up to 200 additional jobs in the future, as these new ventures become fully operational.

“I want to especially thank people from the wider Wellington region for the support they have shown for Hood Aerodrome.”

The skatepark redevelopment was a key project consulted on as part of the council’s Annual Plan earlier this year.

“We received strong support for the project, demonstrating the importance of catering to the needs of our younger community members,” Lyn said.

“I’m thrilled that we have been able to give our community some good news and look towards an exciting few months as these projects get off the ground.”

Masterton District Council Chief Executive Kath Ross said the announcement was exciting news for staff and those closely involved with both projects.

“We have a dedicated team that have worked hard over a significant period to fine-tune the future focus for Hood Aerodrome. There has been a lot of time spent clarifying the investment required to transform this community asset,” Kath said.

“We also have a passionate team that has worked hard alongside our community partners to develop a new vision for our skatepark.

“My sincere thanks to these dedicated teams that have poured time and energy into these funding applications – you have been integral in today’s exciting news.”

Construction on both projects is expected to kick off within the next few months.