Looking to the years ahead

A map of the new SH12 highway replacement and bridges’ location

The key to the door of Kaipara’s future is a multi-million dollar ‘gateway’ on State Highway 12 at Matakohe that will eliminate a century-old choke point, replacing a winding horse-and-buggy route and two one lane bridges with a modern highway and bridge connection into the heart of the district.

This holiday visitors will perhaps have delays as they negotiate the construction area where work began in November.

ong awaited, the highway segment will form a first-class access to and from Kaipara and all it has to offer visitors, new residents and businesses.

But it is not the first step towards opening up the district. First came the extended Northern Motorway, then the Northern Gateway Tunnel, and then the Puhoi to Wellsford upgrades, which has brought Kaipara ever closer to the metropolis, and as a result, the population has expanded over the past few years. Building permits issued for Mangawhai on the east coast have burgeoned, and this has filtered through to the west coast.

There are tremendous development opportunities in the north, and tremendous tourism opportunities, says the government, and the latest link at Matakohe reflects that philosophy.

With the continued ease of access the real estate of Kaipara is booming, as cashed up Aucklanders discover the excellent lifestyle here. Quotable Value (QV) has surveyed Northland properties recently and this shows that Dargaville experienced a 60.5 per cent increase in the median price of residential properties in three years to June 30, 2017, with out-of-town buyers largely responsible.

An ‘E-Valuer Quarterly Suburb’ report showed a median house value of $291,000 for Dargaville as at September 1, this year — an increase of 24 percent since September 1, 2016. 

“Currently QV is seeing an average increase between 40 and 50 per cent above the rating values for residential properties set during the last rating revaluation for the Kaipara District as at September 1, 2014,” said valuer Thomas Ujdur.

Local Ray White realtor, Jean Johnson said: “Sales are still going well in Dargaville both residential and lifestyle, also sections. We have had a mixture of local purchasers and Auckland people.

Properties are not on the market long at the moment as there is a shortage,” she said. She said sometimes this meant they would have more than one offer on a home.

Mangawhai median values rose 12% over the past year to $666,250. 

Kaipara has long been a source of wealth that is still adding to the nation’s coffers though horticulture, dairy farming and processing industries. It is now becoming evident the district is coming into its own as the place to settle, do business, and enjoy surroundings and facilities including ease of access to the country at large, that are second to none.

With ever increasing use of the huge harbour over summer Coastguard North Kaipara based at Tinopai will soon be housed in a new rescue centre complex.

This summer too, the coastguard’s newly-acquired rescue vessel will be on patrol.

Also underway is construction of high speed broadband to Kaipara’s towns and villages, with rural areas also scheduled to connect as part of the government’s UFB2 initiative, expected to transform the local economy providing solutions for business, tourism, agriculture and industry. Security has not been forgotten and 28 CCTV cameras will spearhead a crime-watch initiative in the Dargaville CBD from this January. 

Travel through Kaipara’s towns and villages today and discover boutique accommodation, fine arts and crafts, and superb shopping, fine food and wine — all the stuff of urban living, without the traffic lights and parking meters.

We have industry too, with kumara leading our exports along with thriving meat and dairy production and forestry returns. Manufacturing also has added to employment opportunities.

Fine education is catered by good schools — Otamatea and Ruawai Colleges, Dargaville High, with a great range of primary education as well.

Medical services are first class with centres at Wellsford at the gateway to the region, at Mangawhai, Maungaturoto and Dargaville with its regional hospital facility, as well as medical practitioner’s clinics elsewhere. In a major project, the gateway town of Maungaturoto is in the process of establishing major new care facilities associated with its extensive Riverside Rest Home Libraries, parks, art galleries, amateur theatre groups and sports facilities abound and for a night at the cinema with first run films, there’s the Anzac Theatre in Dargaville.

Kaipara newcomers are finding new opportunities and adding to the riches of Kaipara as it looks to the future with the enthusiasm and confidence of its founders.

From the Pacific east coast at Mangawhai to Baylys Beach on the west coast Tasman Sea, there are myriad attractions and indeed, opportunities to explore, or just soak up the summer sun, perhaps hoist an oyster, and let the world go by. 


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