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Major Award Win For Whangarei’s Central City Revitalisation Plan

“With Covid-19 hitting our local businesses hard, investing in programmes that ensure our central city is a fantastic place to shop, work, eat and play is a major focus of Council recovery plans,” says Whangarei District Council Mayor Sheryl Mai.

Mayor Mai was celebrating the news that Council’s City Core Precinct Plan, has been awarded a top prize by the New Zealand Planning Institute.

The City Core Precinct Plan won the Best Practice Award for a District/Regional Plan at this week’s annual awards.

“The plan sets out Council’s strategic vision for the central city and receiving this award shows we are on the right track with what we have planned. This is the kind of thinking and work that will help to move us back into a positive situation as we re-start after Covid-19,” says Mayor Mai.

She says the award is a huge win for the small in-house team who worked on the plan, in consultation with elected members and local businesses. “These awards celebrate the best of the best in planning and the award we have won recognises outstanding creativity, innovation and service.”

Project lead Senior Strategic Planner Sonya Seutter says the plan sets out a clear strategic vision for a vibrant and thriving City Centre for residents, businesses, employees and visitors.

“The City Core Precinct Plan sets out a clear and achievable vision for the future of the city centre, addressing issues the community have raised and making the most of opportunities to come,” she says. “It is being used to inform the District Plan, infrastructure investment and public space improvements, and it also gives the business community assurance in Council’s commitment to investment in the city.”

Ms Seutter says the plan proposes three programmes of work. “The first is around making streets work better for drivers and pedestrians. The second is about making the city core and waterfront very visitor friendly, and the third outlines how to create connections across and through the core. This will make it easy and more enjoyable for people to move from place to place.”

Ms Seutter says through Long Term Plan budget allocation, transport projects and streetscape upgrades illustrated in the plan are already being delivered. Current projects include improving the connections from the waterfront to the central city with a focus on pedestrians, upgrading the Rose St bus hub and building a new Town Basin visitor bus hub.

To find out more watch a video about the City Core Precinct Plan on Council’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xYXe1hXszDY or visit their website at www.wdc.govt.nz/CityCore

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