New $9.2M Dargaville council base opens

29 Apr 2022, 9:45 AM

A $9 million-plus Dargaville complex expected to house about 80 local authority staff from two different councils has officially opened today, Friday 29 April.

About a dozen Dargaville-based Northland Regional Council (NRC) staff are expected to move into the new building in early May, with more than 65 mainly administrative Kaipara District Council (KDC) staff from across the district moving in later in the month. (The district council’s lease officially begins 01 June.)

Unveiling carved lintel.Northland Regional Council Chair Penny Smart unveils a several-metre wide lintel carving at the entrance to the new building by Kaipara carver Bernard Makore.

Regional council Chair Penny Smart says the NRC intends to have Kaipara Moana staff based at the centre and both local iwi and regional economic development agency Northland Inc have also shown interest in using hot desks there.

“This is a hub of council services for the wider West Coast community and it’s pleasing to see it come to fruition after several years of planning and co-operation with Kaipara District Council.”

The Hokianga Rd complex took about 20 months to build, with the construction time extended by about three months due to Covid-related downtime.

It was officially opened with a blessing by Te Kuihi, Te Roroa ,Te Uri o Hau and Ngāti Whātua attended by about 60 people.

Six construction companies were invited to submit tenders for the project and Canam Commercial won the head contract with significant local Northland subcontractors involved.

Subcontractors included Plumbing & Heating and King Brothers from Dargaville, and Barfoote Construction, Webb Contracting, Robinsons Asphalts, Whangārei Aluminium, Natural Insulation, Apex Roof ‘n’ Clad, Climatech NZ and Hubands Energy from Whangārei.

Chair Smart says the regional council invested an additional $125,000 to extend the building’s solar power array by 42kW to a total of 63Kw to provide 30 to 45 percent of the weekday electricity demand. (The initial solar array was to provide only 21kW, estimated to be 10-15% of weekday demand.)

As a regional council field office, the two-storey building will also be home to associated regional council vehicles and specialist equipment.

The regional council says developing the new facility to house both councils made a lot of sense financially and practically and it is thrilled its Kaipara counterpart had agreed to be the facility’s key tenant.

The new facility has also been welcomed by Kaipara Mayor Dr Jason Smith. “It’s special and significant that our cousin council NRC has built a $9.2m state-of-the art building mostly for KDC officers and for some of their own.”

Mayor Smith says Kaipara District and Dargaville town benefit from this shared ‘whanaungatanga’ approach and collaboration by the two councils, exhibited in bricks and mortar.

“This new building will be working hard for the Kaipara people for many years to come, helping us move faster towards our brighter future together.”

Group of people at dawn blessing of Kaipara Service Centre.

Kaumatua Rex Nathan leads the blessing after a plaque marking the opening was unveiled by Northland Regional Council Chair Penny Smart, far right.