Northland Steering Group to Continue Advocacy Around Brynderwyns Upgrades
The Northland Steering Group have been partnering with NZ Transport Agency Waka Kotahi (NZTA) on the proposed works on State Highway 1 through the Brynderwyn Hills.
Following yesterday’s announcement on the confirmed timing, Paul Linton, CE of Northland Inc and Darryn Fisher, CE of NorthChamber say the advocacy work of the Steering Group is only just beginning.
Paul Linton says, “working in partnership with NZTA, the Northland Steering Group have provided feedback and economic modelling to understand the timing of works which will minimise the impact on the Northland economy. While we understand there is no ideal timing to have such a crucial route for our industries, communities and visitors closed, the Group remains committed to ongoing advocacy and work to ensure appropriate support is in place.”
Since the initial announcement that urgent works were required through the Brynderwyns, the Northland Steering Group have formalised requests into NZTA and central government to ask for support to keep the region’s economy running as smoothly as possible during the closure period.
The requests include funding for a campaign to promote Northland as a visitor destination, ensuring excellent detour signage is in place, working in partnership with NZTA to ensure ongoing clear communication to anyone considering travel to Northland, and funding to help build resilience and capabilities across the business community and support engagement with the business associations throughout the closure period.
“It’s been important to have NZTA support the Northland region by committing funding for an ongoing campaign to promote Northland as a destination throughout 2024 and ensure visitors and whanāu wanting to travel to Northland know the region is open for business and ready to welcome visitors” continues Linton.
“With four alternative routes into Northland travelling along both the east and west coasts, and established Northland Journeys which allow visitors to explore our region more deeply, Northland remains a fantastic destination for domestic and international visitors alike. Northland is a great place to visit, and the detours only add a small amount of time.” continues Linton.
Other support asks include the establishment of guidelines around vehicle separation for heavy vehicles and private motor vehicles, to consider the health and safety implications for road users and the local communities they drive through. A review is also being asked for of on road operating costs for transport operators, and there are ongoing conversations with Air New Zealand around supporting Northland as a destination.
NorthChamber CE, Darryn Fisher says, “we are acutely aware that for some businesses this news will be hard to take given the economic background of the last few years, in the same breath, Northlanders are a resilient and creative bunch who always make things work and get on with the job. We are continuing to work across local business support agencies, and to have conversations with businesses to see what support we can be offer, to get through this next period. We cannot stress how important it is to reach out if you are in a tight spot. If the going is tough there is wellbeing support available as well.”
The focus of the Northland Steering Group will continue beyond the Brynderwyns project, with long-term issues needing to be urgently addressed, says Linton.
“The Northland Steering Group will continue to advocate on behalf of the region throughout the Brynderwyns project, adapting our work to meet the needs of our businesses and communities. Beyond this medium-term work, the need remains the prioritisation and funding allocation towards the four-lane expressway including Dome Valley, the Brynderwyns and the entrance to Whangārei. This is crucial to enabling the Northland economy to function, and we implore central government to take action on this project as quickly as possible.”
Support services available for regional businesses:
Wellbeing Support – www.firststeps.nz
24-hour Text Support - 1737
Facing job loss? Email Early_ResponseNorthland@msd.govt.nz
Rural Support – www.nzfarmsource.co.nz
For further information, please contact:
M: 021 1777 110