Five Far North infrastructure and recovery projects underway

Published on 22 October 2020

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Five COVID-19 economic recovery and Provincial Growth Fund projects in the Far North are now underway, and another nine are poised to begin after being signed off by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) has allocated over $107 million in funding for 23 infrastructure and economic recovery projects nominated by the Council and local communities. Of those, 18 projects worth over $67 million are due to be delivered by Far North District Council alongside local communities. The remaining five projects worth $40 million will be delivered by the Council’s commercial arm, Far North Holdings Ltd.

The funding is sourced from the Government’s Provincial Growth Fund, the COVID Response and Recovery Fund, and the NZTA Innovating Streets programme.

The five projects that have already begun are two Te Tai Tokerau Redeployment Package projects aimed at providing urgent economic relief for those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and two Strategic Road projects, including the Ruapekapeka Road upgrade. Work on a new Northern Animal Shelter in Kaitaia has also begun.

Far North Mayor John Carter says he is hugely grateful for the Government funding the Far North has been awarded but points out that this is just the first step in a complicated process required before physical works can start. “It takes considerable work by both Council and MBIE staff to ensure due diligence is completed and all projects meet funding criteria before contracts can be signed.”

He says that in some ways the Council is a victim of its own success. “This level of successful FNDC bidding and the subsequent contracts it represents is unprecedented for this Council. Staff have worked extremely hard to get partnership agreements and other crucial documentation over the line within very tight timeframes demanded by the Government. It is now up to officials at MBIE to process this work and provide final sign off to funding agreements.”

He says work is likely to begin next on the Te Hiku revitalisation project which is due to be signed off in coming days.