Hawera Town Centre Upgrade

Hawera Town Centre Upgrade

The South Taranaki District Council and Bizlink Hawera are working on a plan for a new town centre which is more welcoming, attractive and vibrant.

Hawera’s current town centre is not meeting the needs of today’s retailers or residents. The town centre was originally developed over 100 years ago, however since then, our community’s social and retail needs have changed considerably. The Hawera Town Centre Upgrade will provide real potential to build a vibrant and economically sustainable town centre that will attract new residents, business and visitors.

Project Vision

‘To make Hawera's Town Centre an economically sustainable and dynamic place that is reflective of its heritage with a contemporary outlook, attracting people and business to the benefit of the town and wider district.'

Council Approves Strategy

The  Council  approved its Town Centre Strategy for Hawera in December 2015

The Strategy, developed over 12 months by urban planning experts Boffa Miskell, involved considerable public and stakeholder input and was part-funded by Bizlink Hawera.

 It provides a suite of actions which will provide Hawera with an opportunity for a more vibrant and economically sustainable town centre.

Some of the key proposals include;

  • Development of a new Library/cultural/civic centre and greenspace in the central business district (CBD)
  • Improved pedestrian and car park connections with the CBD
  • Lighting improvements to highlight heritage buildings
  • Redevelopment of the existing town square for retail and office development
  • Actions to encourage traffic into the town centre
  • Guidance for heritage preservation.
  • Improved District Plan provisions to guide new development.
  • Facilitation opportunities for events and activities in the CBD.

 It’s important to understand that the strategy is not just about what the Council can do, but it sets out a framework that private developers and property owners can base their investment decisions on too.

At the end of the day it will be private enterprise who will be key to the success of the strategy.

"Implementing the Hawera Town Centre Strategy will benefit the whole district and will also be a model for planning future upgrades in our smaller communities," says Mayor Ross Dunlop.

“Most rural district’s across New Zealand are losing population to the bigger centres so it’s essential that district’s like ours show leadership and have strategies in place which give the business community and our residents confidence in the future of our towns,” says Mr Dunlop. “Because if they don’t have that confidence they will choose to live and invest elsewhere.”

Mr Dunlop says that retaining and growing the district’s population is also important for South Taranaki getting its share of government funding which is predominantly population based.

“If our population declines it affects the whole district in terms of funding for government services like health, education, police – so doing nothing is simply not an option. The Hawera Town Centre Strategy will provide real potential to attract new residents, businesses and visitors to South Taranaki,” he says.

Copies of the Hawera Town Centre Strategy can be viewed by clicking here, (9 MB) from the Council’s Administration building on Albion St, or at the Hawera LibraryPlus Centre.

Campbell Lane Project Completed

Hawera’s first town centre redevelopment project, Campbell Lane, was officially opened on Saturday 29 April by South Taranaki Mayor Ross Dunlop.

The attractive, open-aired thoroughfare is a combination of paving and greenspace, with trees, seating, entrance pillars and a number of lighting columns which connect the Cornish’s Car Park with the main street retail area.

As part of the international celebration of 100 years of Lions Clubs, the Hawera Mt View Lions Club has also donated an art sculpture which has been incorporated into the Campbell Lane development.

At the same time the Mayor also officially opened the new Warehouse Stationery outlet which is situated in the building alongside the new laneway.

Mayor Dunlop says the Campbell Lane project is part of a wider strategy to make the Hawera Town Centre a more distinctive, attractive and vibrant place.

“The Hawera Town Centre Strategy is about the Council showing leadership and looking at how we could enhance business confidence and private investment in the town centre so the district is seen as a desirable place to visit, live, work and do business,” says Mayor Dunlop. "It's also appropriate that the name is linked to a former mayor in the 1930s, Mr J E Campbell, who’s family owned the Campbell Building.”

Bizlink Hawera (Hawera Business Association) chairman and sitting Councillor Gary Brown, says it is awesome to see the Campbell Lane project completed. “Bizlink has been very supportive of the Council’s town centre strategy. There has been a lot of work gone into the planning and preparation, so it’s fantastic to see that all coming to fruition,” he says. “It’s also really encouraging to see private developers investing in the town centre.”

Hawera Town Centre project coordinator Phil Waite says the public response to Campbell Lane has been very positive and the project has been a good example of collaboration between the Council and the neighbouring property owners.
“Both property owners on either side of the new lane have made improvements to their buildings, with one investor completely renovating the old empty building where the Warehouse Stationery is now located,” says Mr Waite.
“This is great to see because one of the key goals underpinning the Town Centre redevelopment was that it would be a catalyst to drive change and to encourage private enterprise to invest in the town centre – and that is what we are seeing happen,” he says.

Mr Waite says the next town centre project will be a second laneway which will involve demolishing of the old ‘Butchers’ building on High Street which will then connect to the Napier Street car parks and the refurbishment of the Council owned Grubi building.

Tenders for the demolition work should be advertised next month.

Located beside the Grubi Arcade, the building which has been empty for some time has previously been, amongst other things, a butchery, fruit and vege shop, wine bar and hot bread shop.

Work to Start on Second Laneway

Work will start on Hawera’s second laneway project, Korimako Lane, next week as part of South Taranaki District Council’s town centre revitilisation plan.

STDC Project Coordinator, Phil Waite, says the Council purchased and demolished a vacant building in July 2017 to pave the way for the new lane.

“The Council is combining two projects into one contract; the creation of Korimako Lane (an attractive pedestrian thoroughfare which will connect the Napier Street carpark to High Street CBD) and the refurbishment of the existing Grubi Arcade Building into a new retail space.”

Mr Waite says there will be some disruption when work starts as both the Grubi Arcade thoroughfare and public toilets will be closed.

“Hawera Hospice has generously agreed to let members of the public use their shop (during business hours) as a thoroughfare from the Napier Street carpark to High Street. People will also have to use the toilets either at Cornishes Carpark or the Water Tower once construction starts,” he says.

Mayor Dunlop says the Korimako Lane project is part of a wider strategy to make the Hawera Town Centre a more distinctive, attractive and vibrant place.

“The Hawera Town Centre Strategy is about the Council showing leadership and looking at how we can enhance business confidence and private investment in our main town centre so the district is seen as a desirable place to visit, live, work and do business,” says Mayor Dunlop.

The open-aired Korimako Lane will be a combination of paving and greenspace, in a similar style to Campbell Lane. The Korimako (Bellbird) is recognised as a symbolic messenger and orator to local Iwi in South Taranaki.

Bizlink Hawera (Hawera Business Association) Coordinator Nikki Watson, says it’s great to see the Korimako Lane project start.

“Bizlink has been very supportive of the Council’s Town Centre Strategy. There has been a lot of work gone into the planning and preparation, so it’s fantastic to see projects like this get underway,” she says.

“With a number of new businesses being established and building developments underway there is a real feeling of positivity and confidence in the town.”