Paihia waterfront to receive $8m makeover

By Jessica Tyson

The Paihia waterfront in the Bay of Islands is to receive a makeover with more than $8 million in funding from the government.

The Bay of Islands is the cornerstone of Northland tourism and Paihia the hub for maritime-based tourism and recreation in the area.

The waterfront is a popular spot for Māori especially when thousands visit the area during Waitangi Day celebrations. 

Infrastructure Minister and NZ First Northland candidate Shane Jones says the construction project will benefit local businesses and create up to 60 jobs.

“With tourism taking a dive due to border restrictions and lockdown, the Bay of Islands needs this backing to boost its economy and get people working,” he says.

“It will also set up the town and the wider region as a must-visit destination for domestic tourists as we wait for international tourism to return.”

The project will be delivered by Far North Holdings to restore the beach after years of erosion. The project will also construct breakwaters to protect the wharf, waterfront and retailers behind it from bad weather.

“There are exciting plans for a promenade for walking and cycling, a floating helipad, an area for marine education, and more commercial buildings including a bus terminus,” Jones says.

The existing wharf will be extended, new shoreline reclaimed, new tidal steps and abutment built and dredging of the harbour basin.

The funding comes from the $3 billion set aside for shovel-ready projects in the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund announced in Budget 2020.

The redevelopment is expected to take up to 18 months.