Far North Holdings is project-managing the installation of the physical infrastructure for a property development on Kellet Street; roading, telecommunication connections, water and sewerage connection, etc.
Links to plans:
A group comprising Far North Holdings, Northland Inc, The Ministry for Primary Industries, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and planning and economic development experts is investigating the potential for a proposed innovation and enterprise park on State Highway 12 east of Kaikohe.
Initial work is being funded by $890,000 from the Provincial Growth Fund. This will help develop a business case study, site assessment, preparation of applications for a private plan change and resource consents, and initiating discussions with potential occupants, tenants and partners.
We have already identified opportunities for businesses in the honey processing, botanical oil extraction, bio-fuel energy and horticulture sectors. Early interest from businesses in these areas had been encouraging and in some cases conversations are relatively advanced.
The proposed Ngawha Innovation and Enterprise Park will be very close to Top Energy’s Ngawha geothermal power station. Lower cost land and reduced-rate electricity that Top Energy could provide is of significant interest to a number of businesses in existing, new and emerging sectors of the economy.
The site is 90 minutes by road to New Zealand’s only natural deep-water port, Northport, and less than 30 minutes to Bay of Islands Airport. Highly productive agricultural land lies within a radius of 60 minutes by road.
Kaikohe also lies within a part of rural Northland that would most benefit from the economic stimulus that the proposed park would provide.
The proposed park will cater for potential tenants whose activities will complement, rather than compete with, already-established local businesses.
We are eager to see activity that will expand the economic potential of the region and add value to existing businesses by helping them extract greater value from their operations. Our focus is on innovation and enterprise.
The working group wants as much of a ‘closed loop’ design as possible. This will be achieved partly through the development becoming home to enterprises that could use the waste and unwanted by-products of other businesses on the site.
The proposed innovation and enterprise park is being designed to be as self-reliant as possible, to avoid placing additional demand on already-stretched community services such as potable water, raw water, waste water treatment and waste management services.
The entire concept of the proposed park respects and enhances as far as humanly possible the environmental, ecological and cultural aspects of the area.
The working group is already working with local hapū Ngāti Rangi on one potential opportunity.
We have started discussions with Te Rūnanga-Ā-Iwi O Ngāpuhi and hopes for the rūnanga’s ongoing involvement.
We intend that the proposed park will have a strong focus on skills development and pathways to employment.
One of the obvious benefits of siting the proposed Ngawha Innovation and Enterprise Park near Kaikohe is its potential to bring significant numbers of jobs and training opportunities to a part of the country that desperately needs them.
Preliminary discussions are already underway with the Department of Corrections, local community trusts, and local and national educational institutions about working with potential investors in the area to develop a pool of skilled labour.
This will help equip local people with relevant skills and qualifications that are transferable anywhere in the world, opening significant doors for the young people of the area particularly.
Stage one of the proposed project is due for completion by mid-2019. If a decision is taken at that point to proceed, stage two will involve making a start on the site’s physical development.
A website (ngawhapark.nz) has been created where detailed information about the project will be stored once this has been made available.
Paihia Wharf is one of New Zealand’s busiest, in terms of passenger traffic, after those in Auckland’s Viaduct. It is by far and away the most important piece of infrastructure in the Far North district after our roads and our electricity network. It underpins the Bay of Islands’, and therefore Northland’s, tourism economy.
The wharf is the gateway infrastructure for hundreds of thousands of tourists each year wanting to experience the Bay of Islands. It is our marine transport hub. Without it the economy and the Bay of Islands’ attraction as a destination would be severely impacted. It needs to be looked after, cared for and upgraded as necessary.
The wharf is exposed to a wide range of elements as well as, of course, the sea. The existing infrastructure is worn and in average to poor condition. The main components of the structure were built in the 1990s using mainly steel pontoons which rust, have high maintenance costs and are reaching the end of their usability.
Furthermore, it was never designed for the demands that are now placed on it. Today there are 38 maritime businesses all operating from the wharf, it is the terminus for the Paihia to Russell passenger ferry, and charter vessel and cruise ship passengers comprise the bulk of more than 1.3 million movements across the wharf each year.
Income generated by the wharf covers maintenance but not capital replacement or upgrade.
The upgrade funded by the PGF will enable Far North Holdings to widen the main wharf walkway which is currently heavily congested three times a day. This will result in a much more open and pleasant experience, allowing the public to better enjoy the wharf.
A public dinghy dock will be built, and an additional two pontoons installed to provide four extra berths. A sewage pump will be installed on the fuel jetty to relieve pressure at the Opua pumping station and to encourage vessel masters to pump out holding tanks there instead of at sea.
Consent for this work, much of which is permitted activity, has been lodged. Dredging consent is already held. We envisage a six-month construction period over the 2019 winter period to avoid inconvenience to wharf users and the customers of the businesses operating here. Work is expected to be complete by the end of the year.
The town of Kawakawa in the Bay of Islands is set to be transformed through the creation of a new arts, culture and environment Centre that celebrates the town’s connection with Austrian artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser and the rich culture in the area.
Friedensreich Hundertwasser built the now world-famous Hundertwasser toilets with the local community and this, his last and only building in the southern hemisphere, opened in 1999, just months before he died.
The project’s instigator is the Kawakawa Hundertwasser Park Charitable Trust, which established the vision in 2008 and has a clear charitable charter. The Trust is working in partnership/co-governance with Ngati Hine to create a truly unique visitor experience for locals and visitors alike, with a ground floor interpretive centre and memorial to Hundertwasser, a first floor gallery and community workshop, and a viewing platform looking out across the park. The Centre is to be officially known as the Kawakawa Hundertwasser Park Centre, Te Hononga, the joining of cultures.
Far North Holdings has worked closely with the community and played a central role in enabling and facilitating the project, forming a Project Partnership Group with the local Hundertwasser Park Charitable Trust, Te Runanga O Ngati Hine, Kawakawa Business and Community Association, Bay of Islands-Whangaroa Community Board, Northland Regional Council and the Far North District Council.
This economic regeneration initiative will enhance the town’s ability to benefit from the already significant flow of visitors attracted to the Hundertwasser Toilets, the Bay of Islands Vintage Railway and the Twin Coast Cycleway.
Te Hononga will serve an estimated 350,000 visitors a year (more than 250,000 visitors already visit the existing Hundertwasser Toilets each year). New public amenities will relieve pressure on the original Hundertwasser toilets ‘artwork’ and provide an enhanced visitor experience, increasing the length of time spent in Kawakawa. The project will also significantly improve infrastructure, parking and amenities at the busy SH1 and SH11 junction. The proposal also aims to connect with the Twin Coast Cycleway, rerouting the already busy and congested SH1 trail onto a much safer and more scenic route through the Hundertwasser Park.
The proposal sees demolition of the existing building adjacent to the Hundertwasser toilets, opening the site to a new town square and civic space, and to the community park at the back. This will make it safe and accessible for families to use, as previously it was not visible from the main road. It will also provide a real sense of place and community in the centre of town.
The Far North District Council will relocate the public library and service centre into the new centre, ensuring good community use and ownership of the development and providing a sustainable anchor tenant for the project.
The Centre will be a showcase of environmental building and design. A wider kaupapa of arts, culture and environment will be at the heart of the centre, its exhibitions and community programmes run by the Trust and Ngati Hine.
Facilities will also be developed for cyclists and freedom campers. These will include bicycle racks and coin-operated ablution facilities such as 24/7 showers and toilets.
The community-driven initiative has been 18 months in planning and has required negotiation with multiple landowners. It now enjoys the firm support of the community, iwi, FNDC and NRC.
Previously there was no acceptable access arrangement to this land that would allow the development to proceed. By working with an adjoining landowner, who was previously unable to develop his site as NZTA would not permit access/egress from State Highway 1, we have formulated a solution acceptable to all parties. A one-way system will be developed whereby access is through the landowner’s site and egress will be through the FNDC site.
The improved coach and car parking at the rear of the site, owned and funded by Far North District Council, will ease congestion on SH1. It will allow coaches to be unloaded safely, and visitors will have access to the Kawakawa high street through the town square/atea.
It is anticipated that cyclists and other visitors will spend longer in Kawakawa as a result of this unique building, the landscaped park and the town square/atea. This will boost revenue to many local businesses, provide a cultural experience in the heart of Kawakawa and serve the wider Bay of Islands and Mid and Far North communities.
It will aid the creation of a regional Hundertwasser tourism circuit linking the Whangarei Museum, the Kaurinui development (where Hundertwasser is buried) and the original toilets/and Te Hononga in Kawakawa. This could be promoted both domestically and internationally.
It will take advantage of the growth in cruise ship numbers in the Bay of Islands, and will become part of the coach circuit created for these tourists.
The real foundation of the project is the community. Community ownership and use of the development is fundamental to its success. FNHL and the project partners have engaged with all sectors of the community. Everyone will have some involvement in the design and development of both the town square and the adjoining park to ensure they feel part of what will be a significant transformation.