New Zealand’s Gisborne Airport is to build a new terminal thanks to a collaboration between infrastructure company Eastland Group, Gisborne District Council, Eastland Community Trust and local Maori division Ngai Tawhiri.
Gisborne Airport, situated on the east coast of the North Island of New Zealand, has ambitions to become a significant player in the national and international tourism market.
Gisborne District Council – which owns the airport – announced they have signed a heads of agreement, giving way to a 30-year lease with Eastland Group. The local company has operated, managed and developed the airport since 2005. With the agreement signed, the terminal redevelopment project can now get underway.
Nedine Thatcher Swann, Gisborne District Council’s chief executive, said, “Collaborating together with Eastland Group and tangata whenua (the Maori people) to link projects under the Tairāwhiti Navigations program will ensure visitors and locals are shown a unique point of difference that is distinctly Tairāwhiti, whether they are arriving, leaving or enjoying our many iconic sites across the city.”
The current building was built in the 1960s, and will require extensive upgrading to fulfil the operator’s needs.
Matt Todd, chief executive at Eastland Group, commented, “From a purely practical point of view, it needs earthquake strengthening and to be expanded to accommodate larger planes and greater numbers of travelers. We’ve been working closely with Air New Zealand and other stakeholders on what is needed to future-proof the building.
“But the opportunity is much bigger – we have a chance to be genuinely visionary. The airport is a vital gateway to the region and, together, we’re uniquely positioned to create an iconic terminal that showcases and celebrates the stories of Tairāwhiti. We look forward to working with our partners and sharing the journey with the community as the new terminal takes shape.”
The project is now being planned, with expressions of interest being sought from building companies. Eastland Group has applied to the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) for funding toward the project, and concept drawings are due to be released next month (June).