$1m up­grade for Tawa town cen­tre

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE - KRIS DANDO

Tawa res­i­dents can look for­ward to their town cen­tre get­ting a $1 mil­lion spruce up in the next 12 months.

The Tawa town cen­tre up­grade was set down for the 2018/19 fi­nan­cial year, but Welling­ton City north­ern ward coun­cil­lors Justin Lester and Mal­colm Spar­row said they pushed hard to get it brought for­ward.

The work has leapfrogged other town cen­tre up­grades in Welling­ton, in­clud­ing Karori.

‘‘I’m de­lighted that the work could get moved ahead of time and it’s a fan­tas­tic chance to re­ally get Tawa spruced up,’’ Spar­row said. ‘‘It is look­ing tired.’’

Trans­port and ur­ban de­vel­op­ment com­mit­tee chair­man and Karori coun­cil­lor Andy Fos­ter said af­ter con­sul­ta­tion re­gard­ing hous­ing and the town cen­tre, it made ‘‘sim­ple com­mon sense’’ to progress with Tawa’s up­grade be­fore Karori’s.

‘‘It’s ready to go be­cause the en­gage­ment has been car­ried out and they’re in a good po­si­tion,’’ he said.

‘‘Karori [ town cen­tre] is a much more com­pli­cated beast, whereas Tawa is not that bro­ken. Credit must go to the Tawa com­mu­nity for let­ting us know what is needed.’’

Pub­lic meet­ings were held in Tawa in 2015, and in April the coun­cil re­ceived 171 sub­mis­sions, rep­re­sent­ing 280 peo­ple, re­gard- ing medium-den­sity hous­ing for the sub­urb and what im­prove­ments could be made to the town cen­tre.

Among the feed­back was the con­cern about va­cant shops, a de­sire for more seat­ing, hang­ing bas­kets, trees and plants, do­ing more to at­tract new busi­nesses, en­hanc­ing the Porirua Stream, and eas­ing traf­fic con­ges­tion.

Coun­cil­lors were also told that im­proved shopfronts, a round­about at the Sur­rey St and Main Rd in­ter­sec­tion and a bet­ter pub­lic space in front of the Plan B build­ing were high pri­or­i­ties.

Lester said there would likely be fur­ther pub­lic meet­ings in the com­ing year to for­malise what would be built. The re­cent­ly­formed Vi­brant Tawa would also have a big say in the project.

‘‘There is a lot of po­ten­tial here in Tawa and we want to make sure that $1m is spent well,’’ he said.

‘‘While there might be a round­about go­ing in, this is about beau­ti­fi­ca­tion, so maybe a town cen­tre sign and in­for­ma­tion boards could go up.’’

PHOTO: KRIS DANDO

Justin Lester, left, and Mal­colm Spar­row pushed for the Tawa town cen­tre up­grade to be moved for­ward.

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