Final concept plans for a $4.2 million upgrade and expansion of maritime facilities at Rangitane on the Kerikeri Inlet have won the support of local hapū Ngāti Rēhia.
Hapū spokeswoman Nora Rameka has welcomed the development, saying it will significantly improve access to Kerikeri Inlet.
“Ngāti Rēhia fully supports investment in maritime infrastructure around Kerikeri as it helps more of our people to access and take advantage of the wonderful marine environment we have in the Bay of Islands.”
She says the Rangitane development will complement improved boat access at Windsor Landing/Rangitoto on the opposite shore of Kerikeri Inlet.
“We welcomed that project and view the Rangitane upgrade in the same way. Over the years, development around Kerikeri has reduced opportunities for people to access the moana. We support projects that help reverse that trend and make it easier and safer for all people get out on the water.”
Rangitane does currently have a boat ramp and jetty. However, the ramp is steep and difficult to use, and the community-owned jetty has fallen into disrepair. A lack of boat trailer parking means vehicles and trailers are often parked haphazardly along the road shoulder which is hazardous to drivers and pedestrians.
The upgrade project will see a double-width boat ramp and launching pontoon built, along with 16 trailer parks and 12 car parks. There are also plans to upgrade the existing jetty.
The project will be jointly funded by the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE), which has confirmed $2.45 million through its Covid-19 Response and Recovery Fund. Far North District Council has also allocated $1.75 million to the project.
Mayor John Carter says that with funding help from the Government, the Council is planning to upgrade marine facilities in the Bay of Islands, the Hokianga, Pukenui and Unahi.
“This is great news for all Far North residents, but particularly those in Kerikeri where population growth has put real pressure on marine facilities,” said Mayor Carter.
He said consultation with iwi, community groups and others affected by the project was ongoing and will include discussions with the Rangitane Residents Association, which currently holds consents for the existing Rangitane jetty.
Funding to upgrade the jetty has been ring-fenced by MBIE on condition it will be included in the wider project. The association has not yet indicated its support for the project.
Far North Holdings, the Council’s commercial company, will manage the Rangitane project and has uploaded final concept plans to its website (www.fnhl.co.nz). For more information, contact Alastair Wells, Far North Holdings’ spokesman for the Rangitane project at: firstname.lastname@example.org