Taking Northland Forward Together

Published on 08 July 2024

Photo of Mayor Vince Cocurullo in the mayoral robe and chains.

As Chair of the Northland Mayoral Forum, I know how important it is for our four Northland councils to be working together.

When we align our views and speak with one voice, we hold more power and create stronger, more beneficial relationships with our government and partner organisations.

On the 26 of June 2024 at 11:59pm, the Brynderwyns finally reopened.

A large part of this is thanks to the hard work of NZTA and the contractors involved. In the background, the four councils along with our business communities, freight companies and Northland tourism operators worked together with Northland Inc. to advocate for the importance of this section of highway, and the need to keep Northland open.

As we celebrated the reopening, all around Northland there was a sigh of relief as our region felt connected once again to the rest of New Zealand.

Since being elected the Northland Mayoral Forum has been working with the Northland Chief Executives' Forum (the four CEs of Northland’s councils), to create a strategic collaboration document called Northland Forward Together - Te Taitokerau Kōkiri Ngātahi. On 27 June 2024, Whangārei adopted the updated version of this document.

As leaders of our region, we are united in making Northland our focus. To achieve this, we’re aligning our efforts with the four core objectives to help our engagement with central government.

Critical, functioning and climate-resilient infrastructure

We recognise our role in providing and advocating for robust infrastructure. Whether it’s roads, utilities, or digital connectivity, such as our advocacy for SH1 Brynderwyns, four-lane Northland Expressway and restoring access through Mangamuka Gorge.

Advocating for a rail line to Northport and expanding the container facilities are vital for our region’s growth. We are committed to Northland’s resilience, which includes sustainable power generation and strengthening our digital communications network.

Our advocacy extends beyond our borders, urging others to join us in building a sustainable foundation for Northland’s growth.

Robust, inclusive and sustainable economy

Northland’s economic potential is immense. We champion initiatives like the Marsden Point development, tapping into sustainable energy sources like solar power.

We support regional education centres of excellent, such as the Ngawha Innovation and Enterprise Park, which fosters local business growth and innovation.

Strong, cohesive and engaging society

Through good leadership, balanced regulation and active advocacy, we create a vibrant social and cultural environment. Families thrive in connected communities.

We are committed to all housing solutions, including urban, rural and papakāinga. We welcome business-friendly policies, which complement key infrastructure, tailored to each city, district or town.

High-quality natural environment

A healthy environment is the basis of a healthy community. We are partnering with tangata whenua and communities to restore local ecosystems. Our vision includes catchment management, wetland restoration and freshwater farm plans.

We will continue to pursue a pest-free Northland, including eradicating environmental threats such as exotic seaweed and wild deer.

The essence of Northland is our people, and how we interact with each other and the environment. The Northland Mayoral Forum will continue to collaborate with central government to empower our community.

Through this strong partnership, we will make sure that Northland continues to be heard, seen and valued.

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