Hāwera Town Centre Upgrade
Whakamohoa Pokapū Tāone o Te Hāwera
The South Taranaki District Council and Bizlink Hāwera are working on a plan for a new town centre which is more welcoming, attractive and vibrant.
Hāwera’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 Hāwera Town Centre Upgrade will provide real potential to build a vibrant and economically sustainable town centre that will attract new residents, business and visitors.
‘To make Hāwera'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.'
Monday 2 December, 2019
The upgrade works on Nelson Street (between Victoria to Union Street), Hāwera, are all but complete.
The work which was carried out by Inframax, formalizes the one-way street and includes new drainage, kerb and channel, footpath, streetscaping and road pavement.
South Taranaki District Mayor, Phil Nixon, is pleased with the completed works which he says was part of the Council’s wider programme to enhance Hāwera’s town centre streetscape and to provide more car parking on the street.
“We’ve now got a more attractive street, with
more parks, set up in a safer manner with raised platforms for pedestrian and
mobility scooter crossings and more clearly defined zones between pedestrian
and vehicle movements,” he says.
The new Countdown supermarket project is set to start next week (25 June 2018).
At 3500m² the new supermarket will be around twice the size of the current building and the whole area will be re-oriented and re-designed to improve parking, traffic flows and pedestrian access.
The existing supermarket will remain open for business until the new one is finished, which is expected to take approximately 14 months.
As with any development of this size, there will be some disruption to things like carparking while the new supermarket is being built. To accommodate this, additional car parks have been created in the areas which used to be occupied by Carpet Court and the Towers buildings (see diagram). The old car sales yard on the corner of Victoria and Nelson Streets is also available.
As part of the larger Hāwera Town Centre Strategy Nelson Street (between Victoria and Union Streets) will also become one-way. This will provide for more parking for the supermarket and surrounding businesses and parking time limits will be extended from 60 to 120 minutes.
The new layout should also reduce speed and increase pedestrian safety and provide a “seamless look” between the supermarket carpark and the surrounding area.
While construction is taking place,
temporary road markings and signage will be erected to reflect the new road
layout and once the new supermarket is built Council will work with the
developers to permanently reconfigure the parts of Nelson and Union Streets
which will border it.
Hāwera’s second town centre revitalisation project, Korimako Lane, was officially opened on Saturday (8 December 2018) by South Taranaki Mayor Ross Dunlop in front of a large crowd.
The new laneway, which was opened as part of Hāwera’s Christmas street festival, replaced an empty building and dimly lit arcade with a modern, attractive pedestrian thoroughfare (from High Street to the Napier Street Carpark) and two new retail spaces.
Crowds packed the site as Ngati Ruanui kuia, Mahuri Tipene began the ceremony with a karanga followed by a blessing from Kaumatua Turangapito (Sandy) Parata before the Mayor cut the ribbon and officially declared the Lane open.
A sculpture by award winning Oakura sculptor Steve Malloy, which sits prominently in the new laneway, was also unveiled. ‘Wings of Korimako’ is made from Brazilian Granite, which represents the world, Timaru Bluestone which represents the South Island and Taranaki Andesite representing the North Island.
Mayor Dunlop says the sculpture was a perfect fit for the new laneway. “You can go anywhere with wings, but your roots will always be in Taranaki.”
The celebration concluded with entertainment from South Taranaki kapa haka group Te Kotahitanga.
Hāwera’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 Hāwera 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 Hāwera Town Centre a more distinctive, attractive and vibrant place.
“The Hāwera 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 Hāwera (Hāwera 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.”
Hāwera 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.
The Council approved its Town Centre Strategy for Hāwera 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 Hāwera.
It provides a suite of actions which will provide Hāwera 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 Hāwera 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 Hāwera Town Centre Strategy will provide real potential to attract new residents, businesses and visitors to South Taranaki,” he says.