Most of our Council staff are located in two separate buildings, Forum North and Walton Plaza. This is inefficient in terms of customer service, productivity and communication, and the costs of managing multiple sites, so for some time we have been looking at options to bring our operations under one roof. Options we are investigating include upgrading Forum North, building on a new site or leasing space in the CBD from a new development.
Investigations are underway for potential development of a new airport, as the current location (Onerahi) is expected to have inadequate runway length for commercial airline fleets within 10-15 years. Over the next two or three years a site is likely to be selected for this, and if, following pubic consultation, it goes ahead a major project will roll out. It will include all the consent process, land purchase and developing the site.
Council has currently allocated $10 million towards a new theatre, expo and conference centre in the city in the years 2020 to 2022. The aim is to provide a large theatre and conference centre for Whangarei to meet the needs of entertainment promoters who currently do not bring high profile shows to Whangarei because of the lack of seating available for sale. It is also to provide a state-of-the-art conference centre to attract conferences, exhibitions and conventions to Whangarei, better serving our residents and visitors.