Mon 3 Sept 18.
Feedback from business owners and people in Taumarunui about the start of construction on the Hakiaha St revitalisation plans has been extremely positive with people voicing their excitement for the project to get underway.
Ruapehu Deputy Mayor and Ward Chairperson Karen Ngatai said that she wasn’t surprised at the level of public anticipation given the high level of community engagement in the project since the launch of the first concept plans almost two years ago.
“Throughout this journey there has been fantastic input from the community who have been enthusiastic in their support of having a vibrant, attractive town along with the opportunities that comes with this,” she said.
“As in any project like this we have had some contentious issues to resolve but in all credit to Taumarunui the community kept their focus on the bigger vision and kept talking and working together to get us to this point and the start of construction.
The Hakiaha St development has been broken down into five phases with phase one being road works along the north side of the street that will provide new entrances and access to the new tourism hub and integrate the Railway Station building to the landscape and gardens.
The phase one construction period is planned for three months with completion targeted for November.
While construction is underway residents are reminded that there are ample parking spaces behind the Hakiaha St shops off both sides of Manuaute St.
The second phase of construction will see the landscaping of the area from the existing toilet to the Railway Station. This is also planned as a three month project from October to December.
No works are scheduled for the Christmas and New Year period with Phase three being the development of the Civic Space covering the area from the existing gardens to the old library site and public toilets planned for February to April next year.
Mrs Ngatai said that phase four will see the refurbishment of the Railway Station building including a community museum and tourism hub while phase five will see the focus turn to the south side of Hakiaha St and work on the shop verandahs and earthquake prone buildings (EPB).
“A start date has not yet been scheduled for the final two phases as planning and discussions with affected parties are still on going.
These discussions include Council seeking external funding for aspects of these phases such as Lotto funding for the community museum and with building owners about their plans for their properties in light of the EPB legislation,” she said.