Creating great places

Published on 17 February 2021

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Anyone who has read the newsletters the Far North District Council publishes will be familiar with our mission:  Creating great places, supporting our people.  Mission statements are often trite or hollow promises.  In our case, I think we deliver.  The economic recovery projects we are progressing with Government support are a good example of how we are creating great places in our District.  Let’s start in Te Hiku Ward where we are supporting a $7 million, community-led revitalisation of open spaces at Kaitaia, Awanui and Ahipara.  The new walkways, public artworks and park upgrades will create work for local people and make these communities more liveable and more appealing to visitors.  We are also upgrading wharves at Pukenui and Unahi in partnership with our commercial company, Far North Holdings Ltd (FNHL).  Work on these projects, which have a combined budget of $4.1 million, will begin this year.  At Mangonui, we are planning to redevelop the waterfront after consulting the community about improvements.  FNHL has surveyed the seabed and it aims to complete $2.86 million of Government subsidised improvements in November.  Other economic recovery projects in Te Hiku Ward include a new northern area animal impounding shelter and a 6.3 km extension of the sealed section of Peria Road.  In the Bay of Islands-Whangaroa Ward, FNHL plans to begin a $13.3 million redevelopment of Paihia’s waterfront in May.  This three-year project, which includes breakwaters, beach restoration and landscaping, will protect waterfront infrastructure from storm surges and make the waterfront a more attractive recreational space.  Similarly, a $3.6 million redevelopment of a jetty and boat ramp at Rangitane will improve water access for boaties in the Kerikeri area.  Other projects that will improve recreational amenities in this ward include a $3 million revitalisation of Kerikeri Domain and new sports fields at Waipapa where we are developing a Bay of Islands sports hub with a $2 million Government grant.  We are also supporting a $5.59 million extension of the Bay of Islands Vintage Railway, upgrading the road to Ruapekapeka Pa at a cost of $6.5 million and making Ngapipito Road less flood-prone.  Our biggest recovery project in the Kaikohe-Hokianga Ward is the Ngawha Innovation and Enterprise Park where infrastructure works funded by $19.5 million from the Provincial Growth Fund are underway.  I visited this FNHL project last week and was pleased to hear that the park already has five tenants who plan to invest $40 million in new business ventures that will create jobs for 150 people.  We are also supporting a $9.8 million redevelopment of Lindvart Park where physical works should begin in August.  Our other economic recovery projects in this ward include a $2 million upgrade of wharves in the Hokianga Harbour.  We are really excited to be progressing these projects with substantial Government support.  Please keep reading my column for updates and a  fuller picture of how the Council is creating great places and supporting communities.