The Northland Age

Much-needed facelift for our main street

- Andrea Panther

Ihope some of you have noticed some positive changes in Kaitaia’s main street. The Flox mural starting off Commerce

St has made a major difference with those amazing colours and bird life.

Planter boxes have been dropped down the main street — most of them have a seat in between to extend the seating out from the CBD to incorporat­e more of Commerce St. The planter boxes were built by the team at

Northland Auctions and Wahine Wild have done a fabulous job of planting these up and will be maintainin­g them over time.

The powder coated steel design work by Ashley Waitai-Dye and fabricated by High Voltage Custom Metal Art will be duplicated on the planter boxes too so look forward to the planter boxes evolving over the next few weeks. One of the planter boxes will be placed in the entrance to the Central Dairy. This is in response to hundreds of complaints to FNDC and the business associatio­n about the vehicles that drive in and out of that space recklessly and often park over the entire footpath.

The market square is under way. The term market square should be a give away as we are enhancing the Saturday market space. The planter boxes are the first asset to emerge.

Next will be umbrellas for shade and a low stage is being built for performanc­es. When there are no performanc­es, the stage will provide a space for more seating. The market square is for all to enjoy, so outside Saturday market times it will be a space for people to gather to enjoy lunch or coffee outside in the fresh air.

Kaitaia Business Associatio­n has put up new Christmas wreaths and next are the new flags to brighten up the town. We have also engaged Craig Maisey Builders to tidy up the shocking building frontages with a coat of paint and then the old facades that still advertise businesses from decades ago will be covered in plain white.

The KBA has submitted a request for a bylaw so landlords with shop frontages have some basic standards to adhere to.

Ahipara now has a new welcome sign in the three languages well known in Te Hiku o te Ika. A large team assisted in this; thank you to Printing.Com, Jody Hunter, Laser Electrical, Te Rarawa Rugby Club, High Voltage Custom Metal Art and BJ Natanahira.

Work on the new Ahipara carpark in Korora St is under way and should be completed by Christmas. This also involves the road being closed as a thoroughfa­re so the northern end is for residents only while park patrons enter the carpark of Kotare St end. The Christmas rush is on and we have projects that align with the milestones with the Kanoa/MBIE contract.

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