16 Mar 2018

$7m infrastructure upgrade for Bay of Islands

2:36 pm on 16 March 2018

Nearly $7 million will be spent upgrading Bay of Islands Airport in Kerikeri as well as wharves in Paihia, Russell and Opua.

Bay of Islands

The Bay of Islands from Waitangi. Photo: RNZ / Lois Williams

The money will come out of the annual $1 billion provincial growth fund, which was part of the coalition agreement between Labour and New Zealand First.

Regional economic development minister Shane Jones said the investment in the three Northland wharves would boost tourism and create new jobs.

The airport in Kerikeri needed a new terminal to keep up with demand, as it was one of the fastest-growing regional airports in the country, he said.

The government would work with council-owned company Far North Holdings on a business case and, if it was approved, would commit $1.7m to the project.

About $5m would be spent on the wharves project, on the same basis.

The tender process would require firms to take on apprentices and train local people, Mr Jones said.