A vision for Papakura’s future has been outlined to business leaders and developers.
An emerging metropolitan centre, Papakura Local Board adopted a Framework for Action Plan last year that reflects the area’s growth and town's future role.
One of the board’s priorities is a prosperous metropolitan centre that is a great place to shop and enjoy the company of whanau, so with growth looming, it set up a Commercial Centre Project Group.
Its work sought community and mana whenua views to establish what residents valued about the town, with four themes emerging, whanau friendly, culturally diverse, youthful and emerging as a metropolitan centre.
The group’s vision for the town became a centre with quality shopping and dining that provides for active lifestyles. It envisages more trees and plants, and connected paths to create environments that support urban living, including accommodation.
Papakura Business Association chair Paula Schultz says the aim is that the town transitions into a mixed-use area but maintains the cornerstones residents identify as giving it its character.
“You only get one chance to get it right. We love this place and want it to thrive for generations to come.”
Papakura-based urban design consultant Richard Knott outlined the group’s plan, detailing opportunities for residential and commercial growth that support the board’s aim of maintaining the area’s character, and Bayleys real estate experts also gave insights, tipping the town to emerge as an investment hot-spot because of its transport connections, infrastructure and youthful and innovative population.
Commercial and retail operations director Lloyd Budd says growth could outstrip the rest of Auckland, presenting an opportunity to attract people through a mix of entertainment, retail and hospitality.
“We have seen rejuvenation in Johannesburg, Santiago, Seoul and Portland. As well as being hugely successful, they all had something else in common, collaboration.
“All their projects brought together people, activation, mixed use spaces, sustainability and place-making. There is every reason to believe that approach can be successful in Papakura.”
Group member and town centre manager Tracy Shackleton says the town has a rich cultural heritage that needs to be maintained and protected, but it also has a vibrant future.
“We are one of fastest growing areas in the country, we have one of the busiest rail stations in Auckland and there are plans for many different styles of accommodation in and around the town.
"We have the chance through our metropolitan centre status to create a place that is positioned so new residents cherish it as much as today’s do.”