Kaipara is open for business and should receive funding from the government's Regional Growth Fund to facilitate investment in the district, Mayor Jason Smith says.

Smith is disappointed his district has so far missed out on a slice of the pie from the much-vaunted $1 billion PGF, but he remains hopeful.

Regional Development Minister Shane Jones has so far announced $49m of funding for Northland, including $10m for the Hundertwasser Art Centre in Whang─ürei and $9m for improvement to the Waipapa State Highway 10 intersection.

A spokesman for Jones said all eight applications received for various initiatives from Kaipara were still under consideration for funding.


These applications, worth $27.8m, vary from roading and bridge safety projects that will tie in with the Regional Land Transport Plan, to a digital hub and shared facilities for community meeting spaces and purposes.

There is a stand-alone walking/cycling initiative that fits in with a number of regional walking and cycling projects.

They are multiple stage projects, with initial requests mostly to fund feasibility studies.

Smith said the Overseas Investment Office's decision two weeks ago to decline Tegel's application to buy land in Arapohue for a gigantic broiler chicken farm meant there wouldn't be a major investment or job creation initiative in Kaipara.

Land Information Minister Eugenie Sage said the large number of submissions from community members and Kapehu Marae helped illustrate the difficulties Tegel would have had in gaining the resource consents it needed to proceed with the broiler chicken farm.

She said it was uncertain whether the claimed benefits of additional jobs and export receipts from the land sale were likely to occur."

But the mayor said Kaipara was open for business.

"One of my concerns is these messages by the central government makes it seem Kaipara is not open for business," Smith said.


"The government appears to not be encouraging investment into Kaipara. Kaipara is open for business. The OIO decision is also a discouragement for investment in Kaipara."

Smith said since Kaipara has a higher than the national average unemployment rate, the district needed sustainable economic development and investment to make progress.

While the OIO's decision was disappointing, he said the community had spoken clearly about their concerns around effects on the environment, on Kapehu Marae, and river pollution.

Smith said he was proud of the level of civic engagement.