The National Library of New Zealand, Archives New Zealand and Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision are moving to Levin into the new purpose built Horowhenua Business Park, Internal Affairs announced today.
Seeing government facilities return to the area, Horowhenua Developments Limited have been successful in their bid to make the business park the new home of a purpose-built, state-of-the-art facility of national significance.
The first step towards a new home for the facility was announced today by the Department of Internal Affairs.
Housing both digital and physical assets that are critical to preserving our nation's history and taonga, the facility will meet the growing needs of the National Library of New Zealand, Archives New Zealand and Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision.
A partnership between the Horowhenua Company Limited and Electra, Horowhenua Developments Limited (HDL) has been working to turn vacant paddocks into a business park for Horowhenua.
Antony Young, chairman of the Horowhenua New Zealand Trust, says, "The Horowhenua New Zealand Trust is delighted by today's Department of Internal Affairs announcement that the Horowhenua Business Park has been successful in securing the location of a new state-of-the-art repository. This will be a building of national significance - and the return of this level of government facility has been a long time coming for Horowhenua.
"Today's announcement is another step towards unlocking the many opportunities that our district offers - as well as cementing our place as the gateway to the capital and the Central North Island."
HDL director and Electra chief executive Neil Simmonds says the park was initially among 3000 sites identified in the Central and Lower North Island, before joining a shortlist of 13.
"This announcement has been a long time coming, and negotiations really accelerated during the March lockdown. As the largest and most state-of-the-art development in Horowhenua's history – our clear commercial competitive advantage for both commercial and government agencies alike has put Horowhenua on the map as a location for national and regional data-warehousing, storage and logistics."
Horowhenua Developments Limited property development manager Melissa Hanson says the facility will be a building of national and local significance.
"Spread over a 4.6 hectare site, with room for potential expansion, the facility will hold everything from physical memories, to digital data, all protected by specialised lighting, temperature and humidity control storage space; and security and protection from risks such as water damage, fire, earthquakes and pests.
"We expect to see an immediate effect on our local economy during the construction, and long term with the creation of high-value jobs across IT and logistics."
The construction of the new repository is subject to further funding decisions; however, design work will start immediately, and the building is scheduled for completion in 2025.
The Horowhenua Business Park is also set to be tenanted by national manufacturing company Thermosash, whose infrastructure is nearing completion.
"With so much uncertainty around the economy following Covid-19, and with the ability to construct purpose-built affordable facilities, Thermosash believed there was no better place for their business to relocate and grow," says Melissa. "Our district offers a low-risk investment with a great return - and clearly others are noting this too."
Negotiations are currently under way for the last sites at the park, for more information, please visit horowhenuadevelopments.co.nz.