At the Opotiki District Council meeting on 23 May, Council selected a consortium of HEB Construction and Tonkin & Taylor as the Preferred Tenderer for Harbour construction.
This process began in January 2016 culminating in the close of tenders in March 2017, explained Opotiki Mayor, John Forbes.
"It has been an intense process as both tenderers worked hard to come up with the best possible design and plan to build the harbour entrance. We thank them both for their time, effort and vision.
"I would like to stress that we still have to work through the tendering process and the budgets required. This means negotiations may take some time," Mr Forbes said.
In the meantime, the Pathways to Work project will begin its focus on employment and training in preparation for the opportunities that may emerge in the industries and ventures associated with the harbour and aquaculture.
Barbara MacLennan, project manager for Pathways to Work, explained.
"We have been working closely with the College, Te Pou Oranga ō Whakatōhea, and Whakaatu Whanaunga Trust. These organisations are very focused on creating new pathways, and wraparound support to people keen to ready themselves to apply for roles when they become available. We also know there's a need to start considering part–time and night courses for those already in work, but wanting to broaden their relevant skillsets," Ms MacLennan said.
"Work continues to build the case for investment in the harbour. We encourage companies to consider what a harbour in Opotiki could mean for their business and future development plans. You can get in touch by calling Opotiki District Council and speaking to Mike Houghton," Mr Forbes said.