Regional round-up – Northland

Northland is currently enjoying a period of significant investment by a number of different parties.

On February 13 the Hawaiki international submarine cable was brought to shore at Mangawhai, a significant step towards global digital connectivity. When it is switched on in June, it will bring greater digital diversity, capacity and security to New Zealand.

On February 23 the government announced it would direct over $17 million to Northland projects in the first tranche of provincial growth funding.

Northland Inc CEO David Wilson says these two events will provide great opportunity for Northland but there is more work to be done, and all indicators are that Northland is ready.

In Whangarei, the council has approved master plans for a development by Port Nikau Joint Venture Partners to develop an 88-hectare site on Port Road. This will include 520 new homes, to cater for the region’s population growth, as well as mixed use, commercial, marine, industrial, town centre, open spaces and road reserve. The developers expect the urban waterfront precinct to take up to 15 years before its fully complete.

Meanwhile, the NZ Transport Agency continues its work on Connecting Northland, which comprises a number of roading projects to help grow and support the region. This includes the Whangarei to Te Hana project, which will see the State Highway 1 between Whangarei and Port Marsden widened to four lanes (still in investigation stage); the Twin Coast Discovery Route upgrade, which will improve the safety and resilience of the scenic 800km circular route around Northland project (construction underway); and the Matakohe Bridges project, which is straightening the road and replacing a pair of one-way bridges on State Highway 12 into Dargaville (in construction).

Finally, as if to reinforce Northland’s positive growth, this year's Economic Development NZ Conference will take place in Paihia from October 17 to 19, with speakers including PM Jacinda Ardern, as well as a host of MPs, and national and international experts.