Improving Mahara Place
Construction timing: January - August 2019
Work's underway to make improvements to Mahara Place.
We're creating a plaza where you can come together, enjoy and relax. There'll be a terraced area in the sunniest, most sheltered part of the plaza, reading gardens, and formal and informal seating areas. We’re working 7am-5pm on weekdays and will work some Saturdays. We’re planning to have the work finished by August 2019 as long as the weather plays ball.
This work's part of our 14-year programme of town centre improvements. We've worked with the Mahara Place Development Committee, made up of local business and community representatives, to further develop designs that we made with the community in 2014 and 2016, to make sure they're fit-for-purpose.
WHAT DO THE PLANS INVOLVE?
This week we laid the synthetic turf to form the central lawn area, and opened up the space for pedestrians. A concrete stair has been put in place and timber wall seats were installed along the concrete panels, with the timber decking almost complete. A new water connection has been installed for irrigation and a drinking fountain.
Next week is largely weather dependent with the final prepping and concrete pours planned near the Gallery entrance. We’ll be placing irrigation pipes and topsoil into garden beds, and will continue to install lighting, bins and the drinking fountain. Fencing will be moved from next to the Gallery to open the ramp area to the public. New fencing will be erected to carry out the preparation works and finish the last concrete pour to form the new walkway next to the library.
Keeping you informed
Weekly updates are being posted in the Library windows and Mahara Place businesses are using the ‘blackboard’ to let you know their latest specials.
As well as the plaza, the development committee has been working on ideas for future improvements in Mahara Place, if further funding becomes available. Future plans include improvements to the laneways connecting the Marae to Mahara Place, Mahara Lane up to State Highway 1, a new playground and the entranceway by the Library.
WHO'S PART OF THE DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE?
The members of the Committee were nominated by the community board and include:
- Jocelyn Prvanov - Waikanae Community Board representative
- Sue Lusk (Destination Waikanae) – community representative
- Graeme Joyes (Coast Access Radio) – community representative
- Andrew Stroombergen (Waikanae Butchers) - community representative
- Ann-Maree Ellison - Iwi Town Centre Working Group representative
Council representatives include our urban designer, our head gardener, and our town centres project team.
HOW MUCH MONEY IS THERE?
For the upcoming stage of work, there's $1million available for improvements. As part of the 2018 Long term plan process, our focus was on making sure we balance spending and live within our financial constraints. We heard community concerns about affordability and put a strong focus on a financially sustainable approach and spending less to pay back more debt. The focus of the financial strategy is a reduced capital investment programme focused on the infrastructure that supports resilience and agreed growth. By managing operating and capital expenditure at sustainable levels, borrowings and rates increases can be balanced while making sure the cost of major assets is spread over time.
What this means for Mahara Place is that originally, as part of the 2015 Long term plan, we had $1.5 million allocated for the Mahara Place improvements. As part of the 2018 Long term plan process, we deferred $500,000 of this money to financial years 26/27 and 27/28 to align with other town centre projects happening down the track.
HOW TO KEEP IN THE LOOP
To stay up-to-date with what’s happening in your town centre, follow our Facebook page, sign up to our weekly e-newsletter Everything Kāpiti and save this page to your favourites.
WHAT OTHER PROJECTS ARE HAPPENING IN THE TOWN CENTRE?
- The Mahara Gallery redevelopment
- Stage 2 improvements to Frater Lane – work expected to be completed in conjunction with the Mahara Place work.
- Stride n Ride projects – connecting the Expressway shared pathway to the Waikanae town centre.
- The NZ Transport Agency’s work to make the state highway a fit-for-purpose local road. For more information on this project, visit their website.