A $26 million fillip for Whangārei from the Government's post-Covid economic rebuild fund should create more than 200 jobs, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says.
Jones was in Whangārei today to announce details of the funding, which he says is an investment in the wellbeing infrastructure of the district, covering a group of projects identified by the region as priorities.
He said more than 200 jobs are expected to be created through the $26 million investment from the Government's rejuvenation package aimed at kick-starting the post Covid-19 economic rebuild.
Projects receiving funding include a cultural centre, new mixed transport pathways and sports and trades training facilities, Jones said.
Whangārei District Council will get $16m for its mixed transport construction programme.
This will provide a safer network of transport paths throughout Whangārei city, including a contribution towards upgrading Port Nikau bridge and roundabout.
The Hihiaua Cultural Centre - on Hihiaua Peninsula - will $3m towards construction costs. The centre aims to be a showcase of Tai Tokerau Māori arts, culture and heritage.
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The Whangārei Boys High School Engineering Academy - which is linked with city firm Culham Engineering - will receive $1m towards the construction of a purpose-built engineering facility that will enable industry-focused training on site for students throughout Northland.
A total of $6m will be divided between three wellbeing infrastructure projects. The Northland Rugby Union will receive $1.5m to enable it to complete building its clubrooms on Pohe Island, putting the club on track to help host the Women's Rugby World Cup in September 2021.
The remainder of the funding will go towards the development of a bike park at William Fraser Memorial Park on Pohe Island ($2m), and the construction of a recreation facility at Ruakaka ($2.5m) with indoor courts, gym, lounge, kitchen, office, and changing rooms which will benefit the area's growing population.
"Building infrastructure is a key component of our economic recovery plan. It creates jobs and provides much-needed economic stimulus. Money invested now will reap rewards later as we take care of our communities," Jones said.
"This funding for Whangārei will provide the community and wider region with confidence that the Government is backing them in this challenging economic environment by creating new jobs and opportunities.".
The rejuvenation funding is part of the $3 billion infrastructure package in the Covid-19 Response and Recovery Fund, announced by Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Jones last week. The fund is expected to deliver more than 20,000 jobs across New Zealand and unlock investment with a project value of more than $5 billion.