Hon Shane Jones, Minister of Infrastructure
The Government will provide $8 million towards the revitalisation of the Paihia waterfront in the iconic Bay of Islands, Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones has announced.
The Bay of Islands is the cornerstone of Northland tourism and Paihia the hub for maritime-based tourism and recreation in the area.
“Weather and economic conditions have taken their toll on this popular destination, however, and our Government is backing the region to the tune of $8 million to support it giving this stunning waterfront the makeover it deserves,” Shane Jones said.
The funding comes from the $3 billion set aside for shovel-ready projects in the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund announced in Budget 2020.
“With tourism taking a dive due to border restrictions and lockdown, the Bay of Islands needs this backing to boost its economy and get people working. This construction project will put money in the pockets of local businesses and create up to 60 jobs. It will also set up the town and the wider region as a must-visit destination for domestic tourists as we wait for international tourism to return,” Shane Jones said.
The project, which will be delivered by Far North Holdings, will see the beach restored after years of erosion, as well as the construction of breakwaters to protect the wharf, the waterfront and the retailers behind it from the ravages of bad weather.
The existing wharf will be extended, new shoreline reclaimed, new tidal steps and abutment built and dredging of the harbour basin.
“As well as these critical infrastructure developments that will further protect the waterfront, there are exciting plans for a promenade for walking and cycling, a floating helipad, an area for marine education, and more commercial buildings including a bus terminus,” Shane Jones said.
The redevelopment is expected to take up to 18 months.
Projects are being funded as part of the infrastructure investments announced by Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Shane Jones on July 1 to kick-start the post COVID-19 rebuild by creating more than 20,000 jobs and unlocking more than $5 billion of projects up and down New Zealand.
The $50 billion COVID Response and Recovery Fund (CRRF) set out in Budget 2020 earmarked $3 billion for infrastructure projects. Ministers established the Infrastructure Reference Group (IRG) to work with local councils and businesses to identify a pipeline of projects to support the economy during the COVID-19 rebuild. Cabinet then decided the key sectors and regional breakdown of funds with more than 150 projects worth $2.6 billion being approved in principle.
All approvals are in principle and subject to contract negotiations. Investment values are also subject to change.