Kaingaroa Village in the Bay of Plenty is to get $5 million to help fund a comprehensive upgrade of its infrastructure, facilities and housing, Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today.

Mr Tabuteau travelled to the remote village to make the announcement, telling Kaingaroa residents how the funding will significantly benefit them.

“This funding is well overdue.  As residents know only too well, decades of neglect, inadequate funding and maintenance, mean there is now an urgent need for improvement,” Fletcher Tabuteau said.

“The $5 million announced today will be spent on refurbishing and building new community buildings, upgrading or constructing new roads, installing new streetlights and underground infrastructure and building new parks and playgrounds.

“Kaingaroa Village will benefit because these workers will be recruited on a locals-first policy, along with a commitment to help them get the training and opportunity to further improve their skills.

“Construction will be over two years and is expected to create more than 100 jobs, while in the longer term, there will be 20 sustainable jobs.

“Quite simply, infrastructure and facilities are not fit for purpose and in desperate need of upgrading.  This project to redevelop Kaingaroa will be transformational and make a real difference to the lives of the people living there.

“All New Zealanders should benefit from our country’s prosperity.  This project will bring Kaingaroa’s facilities and infrastructure up to par with the rest of the district and allow village residents to enjoy the same level of services as other communities.

“I am proud to make this announcement, knowing the profound difference it will make to Kaingaroa and its people,” Fletcher Tabuteau said.

The funding announced today is part of the $3 billion infrastructure package in the COVID-19Response and Recovery Fund, announced by Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Shane Jones on July 1. The fund is expected to deliver more than 20,000 jobs across New Zealand and unlock investment with a project value of more than $5 billion.