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Source: New Zealand Government

The success of regional investment in the Far North has been highlighted with the opening of two community projects that benefit their communities, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones says.

Mr Jones attended a dawn blessing for the $10.16 million Te Hiku Revitalisation project, which has provided much-needed community infrastructure improvements to the towns of Kaitāia, Awanui and Ahipara in the Far North. The total project cost includes $2.5 million in co-funding from Far North District Council. 

The project includes new pathways, car parking, lighting, seating, and art works to the three towns. The project aimed to create a sense of identity to match the rich culture and heritage of the area. The project won a handful of awards in 2022 at the IAP2 (International Association for Public Participation) Australasia Conference, earning the title of International Project of the Year.

A total of $7.66m in grant funding from the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund – Infrastructure Reference Group supported the Far North District Council to fund the works. The project has generated 200 part-time and full-time jobs over the four years of redevelopment.

Te Hiku Sports Hub in Kaitāia was also opened today. The project was supported by $3.6m in grants from the Provincial Growth Fund to build an indoor aquatic and fitness centre.

“This hub has been years in the making. Funding was approved by Ministers back in 2018. Despite facing setbacks from COVID-19, weather events and road closures, I am very pleased to see the project completed,” Mr Jones says.

“Both the sports hub and the revitalisation project are a step forward in reviving public spaces here and show great promise for what regional communities can accomplish when backed by the Government.”