Ngawha Innovation & Enterprise Park is a green-field development business park located on 240 hectares of land (formerly a dairy farm) three kilometres east of Kaikohe in Northland, New Zealand.
The park, situated deliberately in one of the most socially deprived and economically depressed districts in Aotearoa, is designed specifically to deliver positive social and community outcomes as well as commercial benefits for its tenants.
It brings innovative businesses together with education and training providers, research and development organisations, economic development and business incubation support. It provides opportunities for local Māori landowners and businesses to invest in value-added activity. And it attracts symbiotic activity to create a circular economy at the park.
It has also been designed around the natural environment, specifically to protect the special characteristics of the site.
The first tenants to occupy the park are involved in honey processing, culinary oil extraction, bio-fuel energy, covered horticulture and food manufacturing and processing. All of these businesses are building off the local growing conditions and the abundance of quality raw materials being produced by our primary sectors.
The Ngawha Innovation & Enterprise Park is close to Top Energy’s geothermal power station at Ngawha. Tenants and investors will benefit from subsidised infrastructure provision, 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 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.
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.
Discussions are already underway with the Department of Corrections, local community trusts, and local and national educational institutions about working with the park’s first businesses and potential investors in the area to develop a pool of skilled labour. This will 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.
The park is a place for innovative businesses to work hand-in-hand with other businesses. It’s a circular economy environment - businesses on site use the unwanted by-products of other businesses there.
It’s a place that will expand the economic potential of the region. At its heart are two words: ‘opportunity’ and ‘wellbeing.’
Opportunity for the community. And wellbeing of the people and the land.
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
Circular economy - businesses on site use the unwanted by-products of other businesses here
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
- Subsidised infrastructure
- Land - 240 hectares of land, with 180 ha of developable space
- 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 and $19.53m for the design and development of the park’s infrastructure
- Ministry of Social Development
- Two steering groups:
Business Park Development Group – comprising FNHL, Northland Inc, Ngati Rangi, Te Pai Roa Tika, communications, sector and economic development expertise, FNDC
Technical Group – comprising FNHL, planners, engineers, environmental, social, economic & cultural expertise
Activity on site
- Horticulture – 10 ha of hydroponic berries under polytunnels with packing facilities
- Culinary Oil extraction – avocado oil processing for a NZ company that is the world’s largest organic avocado oil producer
- Biofuels production – waste from culinary oil, dairy effluent and potentially other food manufacturing waste to produce heat, energy, biomethane and organic fertiliser
- Innovation & Education Centre – providing space for training provision and co-locating research and development to support park businesses and other surrounding businesses
- Trades Training – trades training on traditional house building for 40 students in yr1 and providing houses available for social and community housing
- Education & Training – on-site and on-the-job training to support workforce for new industry
- Food and Beverage manufacturing – juicing and dairy-free food
- Honey – extraction, blending, aging, added-value, packaging and marketing, training
- 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 Construction
(November 2020 to July 2022)
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.