Town Centre Master Plan to guide revitalisation
Last year, Ōpōtiki District Council consulted extensively on how to revitalise the Town Centre – to create the vision of a CBD that is a vibrant place for people to visit, to shop, to have a coffee and to spend time.
The culmination of this work is the development of a Town Centre Masterplan and Implementation Plan. Ōpōtiki Mayor, Lyn Riesterer, said that the Plan is aspirational – it sets the ‘tone and direction’ as the town changes and grows over the coming years.
“As the report states, Ōpōtiki is at the start of a period of large-scale change. The Harbour entrance, the expanding aquaculture industry and the economic development they bring are already turning Ōpōtiki’s prospects around.
“We will grow and change organically over the coming years as more industry, businesses and residents come to town. This Masterplan is about creating a vision of what that future looks like in the town centre so that the growth happens in a way the community wants. We want to make sure that we hold on to the things we love about our CBD and make sure that the aesthetics of the town reflect our history and our plans for the future,” Mayor Riesterer said.
The Mayor acknowledged that the Masterplan would require cooperation between council and private owners and that the changes wouldn’t happen all at once. Some of the improvements mentioned in the Masterplan are already underway such as upgrades to the skate park, new entrance to the Motu Trails and Te Tāhuhu o Te Rangi. Others features mentioned in the plan are ideas and concepts that haven’t been programmed into Council’s budgets and work plans to date, such as road markings and ‘gateways’ to the town centre.
“There is a mix of ownership in the town so to work, council and private owners will need to work together to build towards the vision that is outlined. I think this masterplan articulates community expectations of what the town centre should look and feel like, so business owners know what is attractive to their customers. It is a win-win,” Mayor Riesterer said.
The masterplan has been developed by a company that specialises in urban design and built heritage. The Masterplan overlays this expertise with the current and expected changes in the economic attractiveness for developers and the feedback from the Ōpōtiki community around how the area is used and features that the community likes and dislikes from consultation in 2020.
“At our last Council meeting on 27 January 2021, Council endorsed this Plan as the guiding document for development of the town centre. While it won’t all happen at once, over time we will start to see changes that really revitalise our downtown area. We can start with things that Council has control of and it will grow from there towards our goal of a vibrant, busy and attractive place to be,” Mayor Riesterer said.
View a full copy of the Town Centre Masterplan and Implementation Plan (PDF,6MB)