Investment in Kaipara infrastructure

  • Hon Shane Jones

The Government will invest $16 million to accelerate Kaipara infrastructure projects to create jobs and boost economic development in the region, Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones has announced.

“The acceleration of these projects are a long-term investment in Kaipara. Local communities and iwi will benefit from this infrastructure for decades to come,” Shane Jones said.

“Building infrastructure is a key component of our recovery plan against the economic impact of COVID-19. It will provide a much-needed economic stimulus.

“These ‘shovel-ready’ projects will drive growth into the district, provide job opportunities immediately and keep people employed over the long-term.

Approximately 135 jobs will be created developing these projects. Over the longer term, an estimated 1000 jobs will be created through the many projects funded by the Government in this area,” Shane Jones said.   

The five Kaipara projects announced today are being funded through the $3 billion set aside for infrastructure from the Government’s COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund.

“We’re investing $5 million to accelerate a programme of work to improve prioritised unsealed roads in Kaipara and make them safer. This work will include road widening, corner smoothing, improving bus pullover areas, and new signage, as well as drainage and pavement improvements.

“This work will benefit locals, visitors and businesses. It will also create an estimated 80 construction jobs.

“We will provide $6 million to accelerate the maintenance of Kaipara stopbanks, including Te Kopuru ($3.5m). A sum of $2.5 million will go towards flood resilience and water management associated with Raupo District.

“The confidence of a reliable water supply and knowing the land is better protected from flooding will provide landowners with confidence to invest and switch their land use to higher value crops. This work will create 27 immediate jobs.

“We’ll also provide $4 million to construct a 36km walking and cycling track along a former rail corridor from Dargaville to Donnellys Crossing on Kaipara’s west coast.

“The track will form part of a longer planned ‘Ancient Kauri Trail’, which will eventually run from Maungaturoto to the southern headland of the Hokianga Harbour. The trail will pass through areas of historical significance to local Māori and will also draw visitors closer to the Waipoua forest estate.”

Another 27 jobs will be created during the construction phase of the 36km section.

Baylys Beach community centre will receive $100,000 to complete its build by providing for rainwater storage, landscaping, car parking and fencing at the facility.

The centre will serve as an educational, recreational, and cultural centre for the local community, visitors and the wider district. It is a well-supported community project.

Kaipara District Council will receive a contribution of $900,000 to contract the Dargaville Community Development Board to explore options for infrastructure projects in the region, including a proposal to redevelop the former Northern Wairoa Racecourse.

“I’m proud of the investments made today. The acceleration of these projects are a long-term investment in Kaipara which the local community and iwi will benefit from economically and socially for decades to come,” Shane Jones said.

Note to editors:

All approvals are in principle and subject to contract negotiations. Investment values are also subject to change.

The funding announced today is part of the $3 billion infrastructure package in the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund, announced by Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Shane Jones on July 1. The fund is expected to deliver more than 20,000 jobs across New Zealand and unlock investment with a project value of more than $5 billion.