Draft strategy aims to reshape city centre towards 2050

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A vision for a sustainable New Plymouth city centre, including opening up the Huatoki River and links to the oceanfront over the next 30 years, goes before New Plymouth District Councillors on 16 November.

The draft City Centre Strategy has been drawn up in partnership with Ngāti Te Whiti, with feedback from business people and retailers, property owners, residents and other stakeholders.

“Like city centres around the world, ours faces challenges and big changes in how we live, do business and travel and it needs to adapt. Our strategy will help make the changes easier.  This is an opportunity to celebrate our unique local culture and heritage and our natural taonga and to open up new development opportunities,” said NPDC City Centre Strategy Project Director Gaye Batty.

“Past generations have left us a great visionary legacy – look at the Coastal Walkway, Puke Ariki and the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery.  We’re planning to build on that legacy for a vibrant and sustainable city centre through to 2050. This will support local jobs and businesses, all types of transport, housing and accessibility.”

The five key moves of the strategy are:

  • Whakamana – Restoring our Huatoki
  • Whakahononga – Connecting our City to the Coast
  • Whakaataahua – Activating our Green Links
  • Whakaora – Living in Our City Centre
  • Whakakaha – Reinforcing our City Core

Projects under the key moves include trialling a new bus depot with a bus loop around the city centre, better walking and cycling access across the one-way system (State Highway 45), and replacing the Devon Street trees with “green hubs” or groups of plants.

“We’ve set aside about $13million to kickstart the strategy over the next decade, but commercial partners are expected to cover major investments around building developments,” said Ms Batty.

The guiding statement of the strategy is: Whiria te tangata kia kotahi ai ōna mana ōna whenua. (With land and people together our city centre thrives for all.)  

Check out the draft strategy for the city centre’s future at www.npdc.govt.nz/city-centre-strategy.