FNDC identifies 17 shovel-ready projects

Published on 05 May 2020

Digger at Kerikeri Wastewater plant site.jpg

Far North District Council has presented 17 ‘shovel-ready’ infrastructure projects for government funding, part of a national plan to stimulate the economy and reduce impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The projects were submitted on 14 April to the Infrastructure Industry Reference Group, a taskforce set up by the Government to seek out infrastructure projects around New Zealand that will boost spending and employment. The projects must be ‘shovel ready’, meaning planning is well advanced and the projects can be started within six months.

The Far North projects include new water supplies for towns hit hard by the ongoing Northland drought, upgrades to wastewater facilities, flood protection, roading upgrades, and plans to boost walking and cycling options for residents and visitors.

Mayor John Carter says it is still too early to say what the full impact of the COVID 19 pandemic will be on the local economy. However, the government’s decision to prioritise construction projects right across the country offers hope to under-resourced areas such as the Far North that it is included in efforts to boost industry and employment in the post-COVID environment.

He says the projects presented were already on the Council’s books and many have been discussed with communities through Long Term Plan consultations. There is also a clear need for the new infrastructure, such as new water supplies for Kaitaia and Kaikohe, and significant upgrades to key rural roads. 

“We undertook a detailed review of our most critical and most advanced projects and I believe all of those we presented will satisfy the government’s project criteria. I’m confident they have a very good chance of being funded.”

He says the projects submitted include a strong focus on upskilling Far North workers. “The Council not only wants to create employment, we want the skills those workers gain to lead onto new work and be self-sustaining once these projects are completed.”

The Infrastructure Industry Reference Group is now considering all projects submitted from around the country. It is yet to make an announcement on the projects to be funded. 

Shovel-ready projects

Far North District Council has submitted 17 ‘shovel-ready’ projects to the Infrastructure Industry Reference Group as listed below. Another three projects that did not fully meet funding criteria were also included as an appendix so they could be reviewed and considered at the appropriate time. These are included at the foot of this document. 

  1. Develop the Council bore at Sweetwater as a permanent water source for Kaitaia.
    A project to help alleviate worsening water shortages experienced in Kaitaia.
  2. Replace asbestos-cement pipes in Kaitaia’s water and wastewater network.
    Replace ageing and failing reticulation infrastructure.
  3. Water storage for the Ngawha Innovation and Enterprise Park.
    Maximise investment in water storage to value gained from primary production.
  4. Extend the waterfront boardwalk at Mangonui.
    Help the community to realise plans for a redevelopment of the waterfront.
  5. Upgrade the East Coast wastewater scheme at Taipa.
    Design will be based on a successful project in Paihia to reduce ammonia levels.
  6. Extend the runway at Bay of Islands Airport.
    Future-proof the airport with an upgrade to accommodate larger aircraft.
  7. Upgrade Paihia’s water supply.
    Replace the water treatment plant that could be lost in a major flood.
  8. Upgrade pump stations at Waitangi and Haruru.
    Both facilities are in urgent need of replacement due to age and declining structural integrity.
  9. Build paths and walkways to revitalise Te Hiku Ward.
    Redevelop and construct new walkways and facilities around Kaitaia that incorporate iwi heritage.
  10. Improve Kaitaia’s flood resilience.
    Upgrade flood defences to withstand 1/100-year events.
  11. Enhanced road maintenance programme.
    Improve roads and increase safety through tree removal, drain clearance, and road metaling.
  12. Build community-scale water storage for Kaikohe.
    Water storage for irrigation and as a supplementary water supply for Kaikohe.
  13. Road seal extension programme.
    Seal sections of unsealed rural roads in the district.
  14. Redevelopment of Paihia waterfront.
    Protect the Paihia waterfront and coastal defences from storms.
  15. Address safety hazards on high-risk rural roads.
    Address high risk, unsafe roads and help reduce road accidents.
  16. Develop cycle trails and walking tracks to boost tourism.
    Target tourism and boost health benefits for residents with new walking and cycling trails.
  17. Seal 14km of Ruapekapeka Road.
    Seal a significant diversion route for SH1.

Three projects included as an appendix: 

  1. Flood resilience works on West Coast Road, Panguru.
  2.  Refurbish the Southern Animal Shelter.
  3. Build a new Northern Area Animal Shelter.



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