A fast ferry joining Kaipara district to Auckland might one day become a reality with a $27 million investment in the region just the start, Kaipara mayor Jason Smith says.
"Half of every ratepayer dollar in Kaipara is spent on roads so it is literally the most significant thing we do, we're a roading company," Smith told the Herald yesterday at Ōtamatea Marae in Kaipara.
Smith was there for an announcement by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and a host of her ministers that the Government had ring-fenced up to $100m from the Provincial Growth Fund to provide capital for Māori economic development.
A further $27.2m will go specifically to the Kaipara region for mostly transport infrastructure.
"The accident risk rate on the roads in Kaipara is five times greater than the accident risk rate in the Far North," Smith said.
He was excited about the prospect of new wharves for Kaipara which could one day connect greater Auckland with Kaipara: "We're looking at a fully integrated transport system which is improving our roads and setting up the pathways for a ferry network in future with Auckland."