Project to revitalise Waikato towns
A chance to revitalise the township could be heading to Te Kauwhata thanks to anew Waikato District Council Placemaking initiative.
The concept has already been implemented in Huntly and other areas of the district.
General manager of strategy and support Tony Whittaker said Placemaking was a means of engaging the community to recreate their public spaces to become spaces for real community use and interaction.
It’s an international concept that was well-tested, he said.
The Te Kauwhata Community Committee has requested to be part of the concept but it was yet to be confirmed, Whittaker said.
Huntly Community Board chairperson Sandra Stewart said it was a ‘‘marvellous idea’’ and each community group would take something different from of it.
‘‘We initially had spent quite a bit of time last year investigating the Placemaking project and decided there were quite a few on areas to work on.
‘‘For us as a whole, our goal was to unify our town and to bring pride and vibrancy back into our street,’’ she said.
Stewart said they had a few projects in the works that were still under wraps but the areas the Placemaking committee were focusing on were Garden Place and an alleyway in the main street to make it more user- friendly.
‘‘It’s all voluntary so time factors hinder the process.’’
The aim was to get people to spend more time in the town, she said.
‘‘To bring them back into the town... not to just to rush in and do their shopping.’’
The intention was also to incorporate all areas of town into the concept, Stewart said.
‘‘We have to ensure it’s the best interest for the community.’’
Mini book exchanges have also become a popular response for book lovers who do not have a local public library.
‘‘Placemaking is the sort of concept that fits well with our town’s vision. The mini book exchange is a lovely surprise gift and gratefully received.’’
Information about placemaking, the philosophy behind it and the advantages for the district can be found on the Waikato District Council website.
For more contact Crystal Beavis on 07 824 8633.