Steering group to oversee economic recovery infrastructure projects

Published on 24 September 2020

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The Far North District Council has formed a Programme Steering Group (PSG) to provide governance oversight of COVID-19 economic recovery projects in the District.

The Council and its commercial company Far North Holdings Ltd succeeded in getting more than $65 million in Provincial Growth Funding and COVID-19 economic recovery funding for Far North infrastructure projects.  In most cases, the Council developed these funding bids with community groups, which led or worked with the Council on funding applications.  The Council is now working closely with the groups to deliver these projects to tight Government deadlines. 

Mayor John Carter says projects the PSG will oversee at present include Bay of Islands Sports Hub, Kerikeri Domain, Lindvart Park Pavilion, Mangonui boardwalk, Te Hiku revitalisation, Twin Coast Cycle Trail through the Northland Adventure Experience, and maritime facility upgrades.  “Legal entities are being established for each project to provide a signatory for the funding agreement with central government.  Working groups will answer to these legal entities and will gather public opinion and develop solutions for each project.”

Mayor Carter says planning is already well-advanced on the Kerikeri Domain, Te Hiku revitalisation and Bay of Islands Sports Hub projects, and work on these could begin this month.  The working group for the Kerikeri Domain comprises a blend of Community Board members, Councillors, staff, design and engineering contractors, and visiting community representatives.   “The evolving project plan will be guided by the Kerikeri Domain Reserve Management Plan, which the public has already provided input on. Community groups have also worked with the Council on Te Hiku’s revitalisation project and the Bay of Islands Sports Hub.” 

Mayor Carter says getting community input on each project is important.  “In some cases, this will be a difficult process.  There are many passionate groups in the community with strong and sometimes conflicting views about how each project should be implemented.  Agreeing project plans will require a great deal of faith and compromise in some cases.”

The Council also risks losing funding if it fails to meet Government deadlines.  “Our community partners understand this, and we are developing ways to gather their input quickly so each project can progress smoothly. This will likely be through a combination of representative steering groups and online feedback options.”

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