A Northland sports park will get millions from the government's infrastructure package to upgrade its facilities.
Lindvart Park in Kaikohe was developed in 1983 and has been the venue for a number of sporting codes across the Far North. The community and the board have been working on redeveloping the outdated and cramped facilities for the past decade.
Of the $3 billion infrastructure package in the Covid-19 Response and Recovery Fund, $6 million will be allocated for an upgrade project, which costs $9.2m in total with co-funding coming from the Far North District Council and other sources.
The project is expected to create 35 construction jobs, and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones said the redevelopment of the park also offered the opportunity for it to reflect the Māori culture of the area and attract more visitors through a wider range of facilities.
"Lindvart Park is a hub for the Kaikohe community. Kaikohe and the communities around it are among the most deprived in New Zealand, and for many of our rangatahi, sport is sometimes the only distraction and outlet they have," he said.
"Kaikohe, even though it is at the heart of Ngāpuhi, currently has little for local or international tourists. With the potential development of facilities such as a new playground, fitness trails, cycling trails and other family-friendly activities, Lindvart Park could become a place for all families from Northland to visit and stay."
The project will upgrade facilities for 25 sporting codes, including a new pavilion for two full-sized courts, new roads and carparks, and safer access around the park.
Far North Mayor John Carter said it was exciting and would benefit the whole region and encourage people, especially young people, get into sports.
"It's quite a renaissance for Kaihohe, for the middle north and indeed for Northland. It's all about families, employment opportunities and sports obviously. It's absolutely positive and we are delighted by it."