After years of driving past the Paeroa Historical Maritime Park en route to Auckland, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters had always wanted to visit. Earlier this month he got his wish, with a tour of the Park, and a progress update on the $1.1 million development aimed at boosting tourism in the district.
Last year the Maritime Park received a $730,000 Provincial Growth Fund grant and $400,000 in funding from Hauraki District Council for the first stage of the project, which includes a community jetty on the Ohinemuri River, pontoons, and a new riverboat to transport people from the Park into town.
Mr Peters commented during his visit that it was nice to be putting money back into Paeroa and the Thames Valley, and the magical thing about Coromandel and Thames was that it had been built by the water, through the waterways and streams.
Hauraki District Mayor Toby Adams also joined the tour, heartened that the new development would be a great complement to the Hauraki Rail Trail. The Park will become a huge draw card for tourists, providing opportunities for businesses and much needed jobs and opportunities in the wake of Covid-19.
Seeing the project get underway is an emotional milestone for the many involved and the realisation of a long held vision. To create a multi-purpose tourist and historical attraction and unlock the huge potential of the park has been the dream of hard working volunteers for many years.
Work is underway on stage one of the project, which means visitors should be able to cruise by riverboat into Paeroa this summer. Stage two of the development will include a multi-centre with an educational focus, conference facilities and cafe.
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