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Masterton town centre set for rejuvenation

Changes are afoot for Masterton’s town centre following Masterton District Council’s adoption of its Town Centre Strategy.

The strategy gives direction and shape to planned developments in Masterton’s town centre for the next 20 years and beyond.

It includes plans to integrate the Waipoua River better into the town centre, establish better links between features and amenities – such as the Masterton railway station, focus investment into key areas and bring more greenery into town.

Masterton Mayor Lyn Patterson said the strategy adoption was a key milestone, but the exciting part was just around the corner.

“Things are going to start happening quickly as we explore the possibilities. For example, we’re going to be setting up temporary parklets which will encourage people to use space in ways that they may not have before,” Mayor Patterson said.

“It’s about time we did this work – our town centre needs a re-think. We’ve committed $3.63 million to undertake these key projects and get the ball rolling on a town centre that will attract visitors and residents.”

Parklets are small seating areas or green spaces created as a public amenity alongside a pavement, often in former parking spaces.

“The parklets enable us to give things a try and learn what is and isn’t effective. But this is only the start, we will have a range of more permanent projects underway in due course,” Mayor Patterson said.

The parklets will be established on a temporary basis outside key areas in town, in collaboration with business owners.

One is earmarked for outside Marvin Guerrero’s Don Luciano café on King Street.

“I’m really excited about these developments; even if they are temporary, things are moving in the right direction – after all Rome wasn’t built in a day.

“Anything that adds to what we offer our customers is a bonus – we’re always looking for new ways to provide a great service,” Mr Guerrero said.

“It will be great to see some more vibrancy brought into town through these developments. The more vibrant our town centre, the more people that will want to come into town, and that’s a win for everyone.”

The parklets will emerge at various locations within the next month. The full strategy is available on the Masterton District Council website.

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