November 23, 2021
Oruku plan savour for Whangārei economy
A former regional economic development minister says there seems to be no plan to deal with the effect of the closure of the Marsden Point oil refinery on the Northland economy.
Refining New Zealand has confirmed it will switch its business to importing pre-refined fuel from April next year, with 240 of its 310 jobs set to go.
Shane Jones says most of the plans being pushed for the region when New Zealand First was part of government have been parked up or scrapped, including moving navy and port operations from Auckland.
The proposed Oruku Landing convention and events centre on the edge of Whangārei Town Basin is also facing strong opposition from ratepayers, but Mr Jones says Whangārei District Council needs to stand firm when it decides tomorrow whether to push ahead.
“Jobs are going to become more scarce in Whangārei in the absence of large infrastructure projects and the Oruku Landing project opens up a new vista of revenue, economic opportunity for Northland, for Whangārei but it needs decisive and bold leadership from our Whangārei District Council and I only hope and pray we get to see it,” he says.