Kōpū marine and business precinct gets multi-million dollar boost
✎ Edit Post
Posted August 12, 2020
The commercial and business sector of Kōpū is to benefit from an $8.2 million injection from the government to revamp its marine-servicing infrastructure and create new economic development opportunities, Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones has announced.
This project is being supported from the $3 billion ‘shovel ready’ fund set aside in Budget 2020 to kick-start the post COVID-19 economic recovery.
“A significant Government investment in the Kōpū Marine Precinct will not only support employment in the Thames township, it will also provide alternative marine-servicing options for vessels from the Hauraki Gulf, Coromandel, Tauranga, Auckland and Whangarei.
“This project will have immediate benefits for the local community by creating up to 13 jobs in the short-term. Another 19 jobs will be created through the precinct’s construction, with potential for up to 108 downstream jobs when the project is complete.
“It is estimated that the Kōpū Marine Precinct could bring economic returns of up to $58.5 million over the next 30 years. It brings fresh opportunities to the boat repair and maintenance, aquaculture, trade and transport industries,” Shane Jones says.
“We’re breaking out the bubbly to celebrate,” says Thames-Coromandel District Mayor Sandra Goudie. “Kōpū has been a prime site we’ve been promoting for business opportunities for some time and we’re grateful to the government for recognising the potential and opportunities this area has.”
“This is not just good news for us and our neighbours, but also in boosting potential Maori economic development opportunities for Ngati Maru in the longer term as Treaty settlements are finalised over the next few years.,” says Mayor Sandra. “This also complements the Te Ariki Wahi/Sugarloaf Wharf project, which also benefitted from Provincial Growth Funding (PGF) of $19.95million to expand the wharf for the marine industry, in a joint venture between our Council, the Coromandel Marine Farmers (CoroMFA) and the Crown.”
The $8,2million funding for Kōpū will go towards planning and construction of a new access road, upgraded boat ramp and car park. A floating pontoon and mud berth – which allows boats to rest on the seabed – will facilitate in-water servicing and dismantling.
While the project provides new commercial opportunities, it also features upgrades that will benefit recreational users and will enable the continued use of Kōpū by the community.
“Kōpū already has excellent connections to Tauranga, Auckland and Hamilton and a good foundation of existing marine-related businesses. This project will enhance and diversify local economic opportunities while improving the resilience of the marine industry.
“These upgrades have been a long time in the making. I am pleased the Government can support Kōpū and the wider Thames Coromandel district to make the most of its plans to enrich the region,” Shane Jones says.
Photo: TCDC - Birds eye view of Kopu and the Waihou River into the Firth of Thames