Preliminary work is being undertaken on the establishment of an innovation and enterprise park on State Highway 12 east of Kaikohe, near Ngawha Springs.
It is envisaged that the proposed Ngawha Innovation and Enterprise Park will be home to a range of organisations whose activities will complement, rather than compete with, already-established local businesses. Activity that will expand the economic potential of the region and add value to existing businesses by helping them extract greater value from their operations
Opportunities have already been identified in the honey processing, botanical oil extraction, bio-fuel energy and horticulture sectors. Early interest from businesses in these areas has been encouraging and in some cases conversations are relatively advanced.
The proposed Ngawha Innovation and Enterprise Park is close to Top Energy’s geothermal power station at Ngawha. Tenants and investors will benefit from highly competitive land prices and reduced-rate electricity that Top Energy is able to provide.
The site is 90 minutes by road to New Zealand’s only natural deep-water port, Northport, and less than 30mins to Bay of Islands Airport. Highly productive agricultural land lies within a radius of 90 minutes by road.
The proposed park is being designed to operate as a ‘closed loop’ system as far as possible. This will be achieved partly through the development becoming home to enterprises that can use the waste and unwanted by-products of other businesses on the site.
This will avoid placing additional demand on already-stretched community services such as potable water, raw water, waste water treatment and waste management services.
It is intended that the park will have a strong focus on skills development and pathways to employment. One of the obvious benefits of siting it near Kaikohe is its potential to bring significant numbers of jobs and training opportunities to a part of the country that desperately needs them.
Preliminary discussions are already underway with the Department of Corrections, local community trusts, and local and national educational institutions about working with potential investors in the area to develop a pool of skilled labour. This would help equip local people with relevant skills and qualifications that are transferable anywhere in the world, opening significant doors for the young people of the area particularly.
A catalyst - for significant economic and social gains in an area currently with high rates of unemployment but substantial natural assets
Supporting rather than competing with local industry - activity that will extend potential in the region
Closed loop design - much of the environmental impact of activity there will be dealt with inside the Park
R&D - to support not just Park activity but the aspirations of businesses and surrounding landowners
Education and training - opportunity to build the potential of the local workforce with real, transferable skilled jobs
- Centrally located - off SH12 at Ngawha near Kaikohe; just over an hour to Northport and less than 30mins to Kerikeri airport. Highly productive land lies in a radius of less than 90mins by road.
- Land - 165 hectares of land
- Cheaper electricity supply – Top Energy
- Greenfields development – can plan from scratch to have symbiotic/environmental closed loop production
- Labour – potential labour source, but equipping/ skilling required
Partners and Funding
- Far North Holdings Ltd (FNHL) - land owners, project managers with internal / contracted expertise
- Far North District Council (FNDC) - approx. $5.2m contribution so far
- Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) – approx. $0.9m for Stage 1
- Two steering groups:
Concept/tenant group – comprising FNHL, Northland Inc, MPI, MBIE
Technical Group – comprising FNHL, planners, engineers, environmental, social, economic & cultural expertise
- Honey - processing, added-value, packaging and marketing, training
- Oil extraction – manuka, kanuka
- Pre-fabricated housing – range of potential partners with MSD and Kiwibuild
- Biofuels/ bioenergy – using various waste products
- Horticulture – glasshouses to expand existing production, cool stores
- Education & Training – on-site residential training to support workforce for new industry
- Generate new economic activity in the district and the region
- Accelerate the development of Māori land into new and more productive land uses
- Enable existing primary producers to leverage value-added opportunities (eg; new food processing industry making use of local inputs)
- Generate an interest among young Māori in local training and employment opportunities available in the rohe
- Sustainable and supported local jobs
- Increase and make available R&D and innovation to lift productivity of existing businesses
- Increased employment opportunities for locals in skilled and unskilled jobs
- Education and training – working with the industries locating at the Park to provide a workforce; partnering with Corrections and local trusts to support new entrants to the workforce and the unemployed to gain work readiness and skills; and partnering with local and national educational institutions to provide qualifications that are transferable
- Providing facilities for training – residential as well as day-to-day training facilities are planned to support upskilling local labour
- Scope exists also to consider the potential for land surrounding the Park to be developed for housing – providing opportunity for housing prefabrication and construction, and for boosting Northland’s stock of affordable housing
Workstreams - Stage 1
Comments, Questions and Consultation
We know you’ll have comments and questions about possible plans. We want to hear these and respond to them as well and as thoroughly as we can.
We’ve thought about some obvious questions and provided the answers. Use this website to ask other questions and make comments and we’ll add them here, along with our responses.
Also - if you know of a community group that you think we should be engaging with directly as part of this consultation exercise, please let us have their details. We’ll need the group’s name, a contact name and phone number.