The embryonic $4.95 million Kaipara Harbour Wharves project aims to boost business, tourism, tangata whenua connection, ferry transport and more on the southern hemisphere's biggest harbour.
"It's looking again to the harbour for our connections between Kaipara, the rest of Northland and Auckland," Jason Smith, Kaipara District mayor said.
"It's very exciting."
The first hands-on step in the Kaipara Harbour Wharves project began in December with the beginnings of a $500,000 upgrade of a pontoon at Dargaville in the harbour's north, with completion scheduled for spring this year.
It was set to serve as the major northern hub for the project.
Community meetings and consultation with a wide range of Kaipara Harbour stakeholders is ramping up as part of project feasibility work now under way.
The project is led by Kaipara District Council (KDC) and 100 percent funded by the government's Provincial Growth Fund - $.95 million for feasibility and $4 million for wharf construction.
It is a first stage in what's expected to kickstart huge harbour-based infrastructure development over the next 40 years with a network of wharves, jetties and/or pontoons servicing the 500 square kilometre harbour and beyond, boosting a 200-year-plus maritime history.
Project leader Diane bussey said it was a game changer.
"The project plans to link a range of settlements through renovating or building new wharves or appropriate structures."
The project's $4 million capital funding is to be spent on wharves around KDC's northern section of the Kaipara Harbour.
Kaipara Harbour straddles KDC in the north and Auckland Council in the south. KDC is working with Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) and Auckland Transport, among others as part of the Kaipara Harbour Wharves project.
A major new development project is set to revolutionize Kaipara Harbour's modern maritime history.
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