Formerly New Zealand's High Commissioner to the Cook Islands and MP for the Northland Electorate of New Zealand.


Moving forward together

4 March 2021

A lot happening in Te Hiku

We are seeing unprecedented levels of infrastructure investment in the far Far North. Much of this is through the Government's Provincial Growth Fund and COVID-19 economic recovery funding, with funding input from the Far North District Council as well.

One of the most exciting initiatives is a plan to breathe new life into three of our Te Hiku towns. The $7 million Te Hiku Open Spaces Revitalisation project will create shared pathways, public art, park improvements, and street works in Kaitaia, Awanui and Ahipara. This is part of more than $65 million secured by the Council and Far North Holdings for Far North infrastructure projects.

Central to this project is to link up Ahipara, Kaitaia and Awanui to Te One Roa a Tohe (Ninety Mile Beach) via Waipapakauri by building shared pathways for pedestrians and cyclists. A project masterplan to achieve this vision has been adopted and procurement plans for physical work is underway. For Kaitaia, concepts are being developed to transform the old Warehouse building and quotes are coming in to reseal East Lane on the edge of The Warehouse carpark. Options to transform alleyways between Far North Pharmacy and Coin Save, and Central Dairy and Kiwibank are also being developed. Meanwhile, quotes are being gathered from local firms to build new carparks in Awanui and Ahipara, and new park tables and seating have been ordered for all three townships. Local artisans are being commissioned to create gateway artworks for each community, and others are completing training so they can safely complete murals on 6-metre-high walls. None of this would have been possible without the input of the Kaitaia Business Association. It has driven concept plans for the revitalisation project alongside Te Hiku's five iwi, Northland Regional Council and the FNDC.

Another important project is making Kaitaia's Centennial Park a 'destination park' for the town. Last month, a new basketball half-court was opened, and a new swing specifically designed for children and adults in wheelchairs was installed to complement the recently revamped Jaycee Park playground. Two more of these swings will be installed at other Far North playgrounds soon. And let's not forget Te Hiku Sports Hub. A building consent for the aquatic centre and multi-sport facility is due this month with physical work on the site likely to begin in May. All going well, the facility will open for use in April 2022.

Making Te Hiku a great place to live is not only about transformational projects like those above. Our commercial arm, Far North Holdings, plans to begin work mid-year to upgrade Pueknui wharf. The $2.5 million project is jointly funded by the Government ($1 million) and Council ($1.5 million). Meanwhile, designs for a new $1.6 million ($600,000 from Council) concrete wharf at Unahi are complete and construction is due to be completed early next year. At Mangonui, geotechnical testing has been completed and consultation on designs is continuing. It is hoped work on the waterfront development will begin within months.

These projects will not only provide vital jobs for Te Hiku, they also celebrate our place and our people. I'm excited by and proud of that.



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