Iconic cor­ner to be given makeover

Matamata Chronicle - - News -

You may have found your­self ask­ing what’s been hap­pen­ing on the Tower Rd cor­ner.

The iconic area is un­der­go­ing a facelift, fol­low­ing the de­ci­sion by own­ers Jim and Irena Leadbeater to lease the prop­erty to Gull New Zealand Lim­ited.

‘‘We have had so many peo­ple come into Tower Dis­count and ask what’s go­ing on, so we thought we bet­ter put it out there and let ev­ery­one know,’’ Mrs Leadbeater said.

In Au­gust 2006,

the Lead­beat­ers re­ceived a let­ter from BP Oil New Zealand Lim­ited say­ing they would be re­mov­ing their ex­ist­ing fuel tanks due to the age of them and en­vi­ron­men­tal risk.

BP de­cided not to re­place the fuel tanks and it was up to the Lead­beat­ers to keep the ser­vice sta­tion op­er­at­ing, or it would close down.

The Lead­beat­ers de­cided to in­stall two 40,000 litre tanks which was car­ried out in early 2008 by con­trac­tors and started pump­ing in April the same year.

This project which was called stage one, was part of a three- year agree­ment with BP.

Look­ing to­wards fu­ture de­vel­op­ment for stage two, the Lead­beat­ers started work­ing with ar­chi­tects Jim and Marie Cot­ter and this took 12 months to com­plete.

The Lead­beat­ers then ap­plied for re­source con­sent from the Mata­mata-pi­ako District Coun­cil which in­cluded build­ing plans, road­ing, park­ing and neigh­bour­ing res­i­dences around the de­vel­op­ments, which all needed to be ap­proved. The de­vel­op­ment was ap­proved in July 2010 and was priced in De­cem­ber 2010.

Mr Leadbeater said now they are look­ing for two tenants to oc­cupy two sep­a­rate shops that will be built on the site.

‘‘Those who oc­cu­pied the other shops on the cor­ner were of­fered the op­por­tu­nity to take on the new shops but kindly de­clined,’’ he said.

Cur­rent Tower Dis­count staff have also been given the op­tion to stay or move on.

De­mo­li­tion be­gan in midDe­cem­ber 2011 and only lo­cal trade con­trac­tors have been em­ployed with the ex­cep­tion of a few who spe­cialise in spe­cific trades.

‘‘ We want to build an at­trac­tive cor­ner,’’ Mr Leadbeater said.

Gull New Zealand Lim­ited re­tail de­vel­op­ment and sus­tain­abil­ity man­ager Karl Mis­chewski said Gull was pleased and proud to be part of the Mata­mata com­mu­nity, and to of­fer lo­cal driv­ers and vis­i­tors to the area in­creased fuel choice.

‘‘ Gull is com­mit­ted to de­liv­er­ing value to Kiwi mo­torists and our reg­u­lar dis­count days of­fer sav­ings to our cus­tomers. As a fam­ily-owned com­pany and New Zealand’s first independent fuel re­tailer we’re do­ing what we can to keep fuel prices af­ford­able,’’ Mr Mis­chewski said.

Gull New Zealand is the independent oil com­pany that is cred­ited with keep­ing the fuel mar­ket com­pet­i­tive and giv­ing sav­ings to the Kiwi mo­torist. It has be­come a se­ri­ous player, of­fer­ing a real choice for mo­torists in an ex­tremely com­pet­i­tive mar­ket. The com­pany re­mains to­day a fam­ily-owned op­er­a­tion.

Gull New Zealand was founded in 1998 by the Rae fam­ily who saw the need and po­ten­tial for an inde- pen­dent en­ergy sup­plier. Ad­her­ence to a phi­los­o­phy of low cost man­age­ment, pru­dent in­vest­ment de­ci­sions and a care­fully planned mar­ket­ing strat­egy be­gan with the build­ing of a state-of-the-art ter­mi­nal in Mount Maun­ganui in 1998. Tanks were re­lo­cated from Mars­den Point by barge, a feat some said was ‘‘im­pos­si­ble’’.

Gull New Zealand made the first re­tail sales of petrol in 1999 and has grown the net­work to more than 40 branded sites.

Gull has been a first mover in in­tro­duc­ing in­no­va­tive new prod­ucts to the New Zealand en­ergy mar­ket.

These in­clude low­sul­phur diesel bring­ing en­vi­ron­men­tal ben­e­fits well ahead of the op­po­si­tion, as well as New Zealand’s first bio­fuel, Gull Force 10 (a 10 per cent ethanol mixed with premium gaso­line giv­ing higher oc­tane and cleaner per­for­mance).

In 2010 Gull achieve an­other first and ex­tended its en­vi­ron­men­tal fo­cus with the re­lease of Gull Diesel Max, a high-qual­ity biodiesel blend sourced from sus­tain­able New Zealand vegetable oil.

Gull now has four ser­vice sta­tions that only sell biofuels which is an­other first for New Zealand.

Facelift: The iconic Tower Rd cor­ner is be­ing leased by Gull New Zealand Lim­ited.

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