$1m upgrade for Tawa town centre
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.’’
Justin Lester, left, and Malcolm Sparrow pushed for the Tawa town centre upgrade to be moved forward.