51 days ago

Spend Oruku money on Hospital - Mayor

The Team from Whangarei District Council

Whangarei District Council Mayor Sheryl Mai wants the $60 million that had been earmarked for the Oruku Landing Multi Events Centre near the Town Basin to be spent fixing the Northland Base Hospital.

“We really appreciate the offer of investment in our District. I urge the Government to spend this money in Whangārei, on the hospital that needs it more now than at any other time in the past.

“Years of underinvestment have left us with a hospital where sewage runs down the insides of walls. And the hospital may face huge pressure as we open up our borders.”

She was speaking after Council concluded months of investigations, discussions and consultation on the Oruku Landing Conference and Multi Events Centre by voting to abandon the project.

The vote meant we did not amend our Long Term Plan to include up to $70 million estimated as its share of the cost of the build of the conference and multi-events centre. This meant forgoing the additional $60 million which was to have come from the Government under its Covid-19 Economic Recovery funding for shovel-ready projects.

Mayor Sheryl Mai said some in the community would be very disappointed by the decision, however it was the decision Council had come to after considering a huge amount of information.

“Council, consultants, government and council staff were working under serious time-pressure to ensure we had enough information to give this project the consideration it deserved.

“Northland Development Corporation took the idea to Government with the best intentions and with inspired vision. Many in the community supported that vision and could see the potential of the project.

“When I first heard about this project I thought about the construction and hospitality sectors – entertainment, conferences, shows, concerts, all the things that it would bring to our district for our people to enjoy. I saw the opportunities for accommodation, the opportunity to stimulate the economy.

“But then I heard about poo running down the insides of the walls of the hospital and questioned our priorities, as did our community through their submissions. Times have changed. Underinvestment and hardship that have been simmering in some areas of central government funded social infrastructure in the North are erupting. That calls for us to reconsider our priorities.

“Our community has told us what their priorities are. More than 5000 people made submissions on this proposal, that’s one of, if not the highest response rates we have ever had on a public consultation.

“For every person who supported the proposal, four were against. Their arguments were researched, thoughtful and reminded us of the priorities our community has spoken of clearly in our consultations over recent years.

“Climate change, limited incomes, the housing crisis, projects that people have campaigned on through the LTP for decades that are still waiting. Not only that, we are living under the spectre of Covid’s on-going effects and dealing with disrupted supply chains and escalating costs.

“We already have good places to come together - the Northland Events Centre, Mackay Stadium and Hihiaua Cultural Centre. The development at Whangarei Boys High School will soon be complete. For decades we have been planning to redevelop Forum North and build Stage Two of the Hihiaua Cultural Centre. These projects have been in our Long Term Plan for years, at the request of our community.”

“Despite Council’s decision, there was universal praise for the efforts and intentions of the Northland Development Corporation who took this idea to government, for Government for its support of the project, for all who have worked tirelessly on the Oruku vision.”

More messages from your neighbours
1 day ago


Glen from Central Whangarei

Looking for recommendations I have a small stream I have planted in a lovely garden but a wandering jew plant has covered everything. Underneath the wandering Tradescantia plant is a lovely garden.
This is on a bit of a bank so I need somebody to remove the wandering jew plant they would start at the bottom standing in the stream pulling the wandering jew plant down and removing it I have an eel and fish in the stream they must be treated with respect.
As the wandering jew plant is removed, and the garden revealed other items will need trimming.

I have a disability and it is so overgrown I can not get out there to see what else needs doing

The vegetation would need to be removed from the site or I may get a garden bin in.

4 days ago

Skoota still isn't HOME

Alison Neighbourly Lead from Kamo

His owner's heart is breaking -
I miss you "Monkey". Your Mum misses you.
And your Trout misses you.
Every morning for the last 78 days the three of us have had to put the mask on.
The mask of a happy face, with a big smile on it, just to pretend all is normal and nothing has changed.
But let me tell you one thing Skoota, there is so much sadness that like tonight it is even hard to start writing something.
Tonight "Monkey" I am your dad, she is you mum, he is your brother. Tonight we are scared.
Tonight we are still looking for answers and we don't get them.
Tonight again we hope for a miracle, a sign, a voice with a real answer.
We are scared for you. For us three it is easier as we stick together, hug together and cry together.
We are scared as you are probably on your own.
Tonight we don't understand and you probably don't understand.
But we are still here for you, the door remains open as closing it would be starting to give up on you. We will not.
Skoota tonight we are scared for you.

Please - If you see someone with a new friend (Skoota) - please get him back to his family by calling the numbers above. This is so SAD.

7 days ago

Vac Numbers?

Adelle from Central Whangarei

I am confuesed. I have spoken to others who like me have seen people getting Jabs but our percentages have not changed since the end of November. The numbers are why we are at red so with people getting jabs but numbers saying that there has not been a single injection in Northland?