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Govt to invest $5 mln in Northland wharves

Govt to invest $5 mln in Northland wharves through regional fund

By Sophie Boot

March 16 (BusinessDesk) - The government will invest up to $5 million in wharf upgrades in Northland through the provincial growth fund, regional economic development minister Shane Jones said.

Earlier today, Jones announced the fund would spend $1.7 million on an upgrade to the Bay of Islands Airport, owned by the Far North District Council through its commercial arm Far North Holdings. It will also work with Far North Holdings on the wharf upgrades in Paihia, Russell and Opua, he said.

"Tourism is an important and developing sector in Northland but some existing facilities are ageing and unsuitable, inhibiting future growth,” Jones said. "These three projects, which are long overdue, will boost the productivity potential of Northland, help grow the tourism sector, diversify the local economy, create new jobs and help build more resilient communities.

"Far North Holdings Ltd has numerous proposals on its books and I’m pleased the government has been able to work closely with the council to deliver for Northland," Jones said. “Officials will continue to work closely with Far North Holdings Ltd as further businesses cases are developed and these important projects progress."

The upgrade to Paihia Wharf will see another four berths built, while in Russell timber piles will be replaced with floating concrete pontoons and the wharf will be extended.

In Opua, a 120 metre floating pontoon will be built for the Tuia First Encounters 250 event in 2019, which will commemorate the 250th anniversary of the first encounters between Māori and Europeans.

"The pontoon will be used for future events and will help extend the super yacht industry outside of Auckland," Jones said. "Building the pontoon will be a catalyst for ongoing economic benefits, including supporting events such as Bay of Islands Sailing Week and the Millenium Cup."

Since the fund's launch last month, Jones has announced $74.2 million of funding for various projects out of the planned $3 billion spend over the next three years on reinvigorating regional economies.

(BusinessDesk)

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