Hek Busby waka centre to receive $4.6mil from PGF

By Te Ao - Māori News

The government will invest more than $7.5mil in the Far North to build a waka centre and a multi-use sports centre with money coming from the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF).

Sir Hekenukumai Ngaiwi Puhipi Busby’s waka centre will cost $4.6m.

Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis says, “Sir Hek is truly an icon of the Far North. The Kupe Waka Centre will see his knowledge preserved and also bring people from both New Zealand and overseas to this incredible part of our country.”

A planned sports hub in Kaitaia will cost $3mil.

The minister says, “Participation in sport and fitness is a key part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle and improving the wellbeing of individuals, whānau and wider communities.  This facility will create jobs, attract people to live here and help retain workers, young people and athletes in Kaitaia.”

The investment package also includes support for three iwi, Te Aupouri, Ngāti Kahu and Te Rarawa, to fund preliminary investigations into a water storage project for the area and explore the potential for a barge at Te Mingi to transport logs to Whangarei.

All up the investment package will cost taxpayers $8.2mil.

A further $91m has been earmarked for the Far North, with $30m to go towards building arts venues in the region.

This includes a $14.5mil Māori Battalion Museum at Waitangi, an interactive Cultural Heritage Tourism and Education Centre in Opononi, Hokianga costed at $4.6mil and $9.94mil for the construction of the Hundertwasser & Wairau Māori Art Centre.

The remaining $60mil has been set aside for roading infrastructure, research, business, wharf upgrades, lakes and springs.

The minister says, “Taken together, the announcements made...reaffirm our determination to unlock the full economic potential of the Far North.  It’s also an example of the PGF bringing agencies together from across government to make a difference for people on the ground.”