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Revitalisation of New Brighton Mall

MEDIA STATEMENT 11 December 2001

Released by: Mark Munro, Munro Property Group

Revitalisation of New Brighton Mall planning set for positive start in New Year

A move by Mayor Garry Moore and the Burwood/Pegasus Community Board to bring people together with a keen interest in the revitalisation of New Brighton has been hailed a huge success following several years of debate over a proposal to reintroduce a road through part of the mall.

Last Friday Mayor Garry Moore joined by Councillors Alister James, Chrissie Williams, Sue Wells and Community Board members, hosted a social function for resident group representatives, New Brighton Mall retailers and property owners, hopeful that difficulties of the past could be forgotten and common ground established for a foundation of positive planning for a redevelopment of the mall.

Whilst in October prior to the Local Body Elections, a proposal was rejected to reinstate a partial slow road back through New Brighton Mall, Mayor Garry Moore challenged the incoming council to tackle the issue once and for all and find a solution that everyone would agree with.

New Brighton commercial property owner Mark Munro said, "He agreed with the Mayor that the hatchet now needed to be buried, particularly when all sides supported a plan for positive redevelopment of New Brighton Mall."

"As an advocate for the reintroduction of the road I have to accept the wider benefits may not have been fully communicated and understood, as a result we failed to convince some people and the road proposal was rejected, that's democracy at work. However we must go back to the drawing board before its to late and capture any confidence that is still around, before it's lost for ever."

" We must move forward and look at the full potential New Brighton has to offer. According to many retail property experts I have spoken to this could in time end up by being the Mount Maunganui of the South Island, and the centre of a new property boom, but first we need to ensure all stakeholders understand what's required and are prepared to pull together to make it happen," he said.

"Twenty years ago you could buy a seafront property in Mount Maunganui for $100,000. They are now selling for $1million. I suspect if we get the heart of New Brighton right, that in time people will have the confidence to invest in residential redevelopment and a major improvement will be triggered along our Eastern coast line," he said.

New Brighton was a good example of what could be done with an area which has got a feature.

"It has the sea on its front door and coastal property is very attractive. It's all about peoples' habits," he said.

"Nobody has been able to tell me why they don't go or buy (property) there. Christchurch people are so focused on what it is, the perception of New Brighton, it's likely to be somebody from outside that will see the potential and capitalize on it."

"I believe the Council now understands it has an important partnership role to play, because if they don't do anything urgently opportunities will be lost, with New Brighton simply ending up getting worse," he said.

Over many years, nobody had come up with a definitive answer why New Brighton has not already boomed, however Mr Munro said he was very confident with the Mayor and Councillors commitment to start working constructively in the new year on planning for significant improvements to the heart of New Brighton, it should be the catalyst for much greater change to the wider community.

"You have to start with the basics, get that right first and in 10 years time, why shouldn't we end up with a significantly improved retail and residential community from what is here today, Mr Munro said. "The opportunity does exist to create a very unique and special experience for people to live in, shop in and visit, all it requires is a little commitment from the people to making it happen."

Ends.

For additional comment we suggest you contact:
Mayor Garry Moore Councillors Alister James, Chrissie Williams
and Sue Wells

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