Kickstart back in action
by Andy Bryenton
While many programmes around the country have been postponed or set aside due to the disruptive nature of the Covid-19 emergency, the Kaipara KickStart campaign is not one of them.
The four-part, $20 million series of initiatives to bring vigour to the local economy has swung back into action as the threat level of coronavirus is scaled down, with major milestones achieved.
In the Kaipara Kai section, the establishment of a hub in Ruawai went forward just before lockdown. Since then hub project lead, Matt Punter has been working behind the scenes to tee up smart agriculture advancements. He’s pleased to invite locals to a symposium with industry expert Tim Morris, including a question and answer, via online conferencing on June 4, from 7pm.
On the hot topic of water, plans are well advanced to transform two local sites into showcases and testbeds for more efficient and technologically advanced water use. Partners are being sought now to provide the land, with many fresh ideas waiting to be deployed, assessed and shared with the rural sector.
Also touching on water use, but in a different medium, citizens are likely well aware of plans to restore the harbour’s wharf network, with public consultations now complete and funding in-train from the provincial growth fund.
Perhaps at the forefront of locals’ minds is the progress of the Kaipara roading initiative, which is forging ahead under level three. The Tomarata Bridge upgrade in the east is now complete, with the next stage of the plan, the complete revitalisation of Pouto Road, now having its own detailed design.
Work on the Pouto Road (phase one) is slated to begin in spring 2020. At the same time, a survey of Waipoua River Road has also been made, and forward planning instigated for the second phase of the Pouto road project.
The Kaipara District Council is committed to keeping the public up to date with Kaipara KickStart progress, as they help turn the $20 million PGF disbursement into practical advances for the district’s economy.