Awanui’s Kā Uri gets loan of $5.4 million

Published: Jun 2, 2020 · Updated: Dec 1, 2020

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The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) will invest just over $5.4 million in Awanui to accelerate economic development, visitor numbers and skills and development in the region.

Visualisation of the upgraded facility in Awanui

What the upgraded Kā Uri facility will look like

The loan will accelerate the much needed upgrade of an existing facility at Ngāti Kuri’s visitor attraction, Kā Uri: Unearthed, to make the site a quality, go-to cultural destination for visitors to the Far North. Loan recipient, Ngāti Kuri Trust Board, has invested $3.6 million into the initiative.

Kā Uri: Unearthed is the new name for the iconic Awanui-based drawcard, the Ancient Kauri Kingdom. The upgraded facility will act as a catalyst for business growth and job creation in the region, particularly in the development of complementary high-quality immersive experiences. Fifteen new full-time jobs will be created.

This investment will allow Ngāti Kuri to complement its current investments and build community resilience, prosperity and self-determination for its people across the region.

It will support the local community to develop its skill base and move from low skilled to high skilled employment. Locals will gain NZQA qualifications in the food and beverage industries and Ngāti Kuri will partner with local SMEs to transition trainees into employment or further education.

For Ngāti Kuri, the investment is designed to enable and build confidence in on-going private and local investment that will increase visit spend by $40-$100 million yearly and create between 400 – 1000 jobs over the long-term. 

Kā Uri: Unearthed is just one component of Ngāti Kuri’s immersive visitor experience brand for the Far North, Te Ara Whānui, which aims to develop an expanded portfolio which includes accommodation, local food experiences, sightseeing, guided walks and cycling, and cultural and environmental experiences.