Many views on Ton­gariro Do­main

Taupo & Turangi Weekender - - News -

The Taupo¯ District Coun­cil is de­vel­op­ing a mas­ter plan for the Ton­gariro Do­main in­clud­ing space for its civic ad­min­is­tra­tion func­tions by the Great Lake Cen­tre, plus pro­vi­sion for cul­tural, arts, and her­itage fa­cil­i­ties.

The pro­posal is for a cul­tural precinct to form a civic heart for Taupo¯, but opin­ions vary. We can­vassed four.

The mil­len­nial: Tara-Lea Ue­ber­gang

Tara says she didn’t re­ally know much about the plans and a cul­tural precinct would be nice, but she doesn’t see why the coun­cil needs to in­clude them­selves as there is noth­ing cul­tural about the coun­cil.

“I don’t think they need to spend a boat-load on a new coun­cil build­ing, let alone re-mod­el­ling an area that has al­ready had ex­ten­sive ren­o­va­tions. I like the idea of lo­cat­ing a new coun­cil build­ing at the Tuwhare­toa St carpark.”

She found out about the con­sul­ta­tion process from Face­book posts after last week’s pub­lic meet­ing. She would like to be in­volved in con­sul­ta­tion and says coun­cil needs to no­tify peo­ple in a mean­ing­ful way.

“For in­stance, I have the An­tenno app but didn’t re­ceive a no­ti­fi­ca­tion. It looks like the event was only cre­ated on Face­book a week be­fore the meet­ing, and only pro­moted twice. If the coun­cil re­ally wanted pub­lic opin­ion, and for young peo­ple to get in­volved in the process, then they’d make it easier.”

The busi­ness per­son: Catie Noble

With her Cham­ber of Com­merce & In­dus­try hat on, Catie Noble says they sup­port the coun­cil ad­min­is­tra­tion build­ings be­ing lo­cated in the cul­tural precinct. She says feed­back from the 183 mem­bers is that its been good for busi­ness hav­ing coun­cil staff within the town cen­tre, as op­posed to nearly one kilo­me­tre away at the Lake Ter­race site.

“It’s been over­whelm­ingly pos­i­tive to have 200 or so Coun­cil work­ers in town. They are hav­ing meet­ings, buy­ing cof­fee, walk­ing around and shop­ping. The cul­tural precinct op­tion is a thou­sand times bet­ter than hav­ing those same work­ers lo­cated at their old premises,” says Catie.

She says it also makes re­ally good sense to pay for the project with money from the Pro­vin­cial Growth Fund.

Re­gard­ing the con­sul­ta­tion process, Catie says that peo­ple have their own per­spec­tive of their own civic voice.

“This is our op­por­tu­nity to give our town some­thing in­cred­i­ble. From a busi­ness per­son’s per­spec­tive, it’s time to lift our gaze from head-down, bum-up, to say what we want for our chil­dren.”

The re­tailer: Glynn Poin­ton

Many of the world’s great cities have a civic cen­tre at their heart, says Taupo¯ re­tailer Glynn Poin­ton, cit­ing the ex­am­ple of Paris, where the city hall, or Hoˆ­tel de Ville, is right in the cen­tre.

Glynn said while his main con­cerns about a fu­ture cul­tural precinct on the Ton­gariro Do­main are park­ing and the lack of tour coach park­ing, by and large he sup­ports the project.

“I’m for it if it can be proved that the park­ing is avail­able.”

“My thoughts are that a very good pos­si­ble op­tion would be to rip the top off the North Do­main and put un­der­ground park­ing there and re­in­state it back to its present form. A clas­sic ex­am­ple is San Fran­cisco with Union Square, with [ve­hi­cle] ac­cess at the Boat Har­bour level.”

Glynn would also like to see the buses moved off Ton­gariro St, say­ing their pres­ence there is largely detri­men­tal, although he’s not in favour of re­duc­ing Ton­gariro St to one lane in each di­rec­tion. While Ton­gariro St is not in the scope of the cul­tural precinct project, Glynn says it will need to be looked at at the same time.

The re­tiree — Ian Walker

“I’m not against the de­vel­op­ment on the Do­main,” says Taupo¯ res­i­dent Ian Walker. “The only thing I’m against is the place­ment of a work­place that has 150 to 160 em­ploy­ees. That’s pretty mas­sive of­fice and the un­doubted prob­lems of carpark­ing that would come with it.”

Mr Walker, who has taken a close in­ter­est in the coun­cil build­ing is­sue, says he doesn’t have any ob­jec­tion to what he calls sen­si­ble man­age­ment of the Do­main, with proper con­sul­ta­tion with the com­mu­nity.

“The sole ob­jec­tion is [a coun­cil ad­min­is­tra­tion build­ing] comes very close to be­ing a com­mer­cial build­ing on a recre­ational do­main and the Crown spec­i­fied recre­ation. It’s a recre­ational do­main.”

He thinks if the po­lice sta­tion and court house could have been shifted off when there was an op­por­tu­nity about a decade ago — although the Crown wasn’t in­ter­ested in find­ing new sites for ei­ther build­ing — that would have opened the Do­main up for more recre­ational space. He also doesn’t see any need for the Taupo¯ Bowls Club to be moved off.

Mr Walker says he’s hear­ing a lot of anger around the is­sue and peo­ple feel that what­ever their views the coun­cil will forge ahead with what­ever it wants to do.

Photo / Rachel Can­ning

Tara-Lea Ue­ber­gang, 30, web de­vel­oper.

Photo / Rachel Can­ning

Catie Noble, 39, lo­cal busi­ness owner and Taupo¯ Cham­ber of Com­merce & In­dus­try Inc chair.

Photo / Lau­rilee McMichael

Ian Walker has closely fol­lowed the dis­cus­sions around the for­mer coun­cil build­ing and the op­tions for a new one.

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