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Source: New Zealand Government

The funding will come from the National Resilience Plan, a $6 billion fund established to support infrastructure resilience after significant weather events.

“Kaitāia Airport is a critical resource for Te Tai Tokerau’s communities but is in dire need of urgent upgrades to stay operational, which this funding will allow. This is an important investment in regional resilience,” Kelvin Davis said.

The airport land was offered to Ngāi Takoto as part of their Treaty settlement in 2012, on the condition that airport operations would continue. Ngāi Takoto intend to purchase the airport land as part of their Treaty settlement provisions and have been working with hapū of Ngāti Kahu, who also have interests in the airport land, to finalise the agreement.

“Kaitāia Airport is key to the resilience of the Far North community. It provides direct access to health services, has been used previously for civil defence purposes and is an alternative when State Highway 10 closes,” Kelvin Davis said.

“Te Tai Tokerau’s road access to the rest of the country is regularly severed by slips and floods – these investments will help communities as well ensuring the ongoing utility of existing infrastructure.”

The $5.4 million funding, combined with funds set aside by the Far North District Council to support work on Kaitāia Airport, will enable a series of priority works to be undertaken to ensure Kaitāia Airport’s continued reliability, resilience, and operation.

This includes works to the main runway and maintenance of the existing drainage network, the replacement of security fencing; upgrades in airfield lighting, installation of aircraft fuelling facilities, and load improvements.

Today’s announcement builds on the recent $44 million investment made by the Government to ensure the state highways in Northland are also resilient.