Waikanae town centre will have an arts and cultural focus. New green spaces will connect the upgraded Mahara Gallery to the library complex, and Mahara Place will better connect and integrate the town centre with the Whakarongotai Marae. Improved pedestrian access and better connections to the railway station will make it easier to get around.
Our plans to transform the Waikanae town centre remain flexible and adaptable to commercial opportunities within the town centre. This year we’ll be progressing our plans to improve pedestrian connections to and from the transport hub to the town centre. We’ll also be advancing the planned upgrades of the Mahara Gallery and Waikanae Library.
The initial focus for transforming the Waikanae town centre will be on making the section of the existing State Highway 1 between Te Moana Road and Ngaio Road a fit-for-purpose local road with improved amenity and east-west pedestrian and cycling connections between the railway station, town centre and river. This work is likely to be progressed in the next 12 to 18 months.
Te Āti Awa Town Centres Working Group has continued to provide guidance to us on our town centres transformation project. Our discussions have helped inform a programme of works that will embed the cultural identity, history and heritage of Te Āti Awa ki Whakarongotai in the Waikanae area.
Together we are now focusing on the cultural thread project which includes better integrating Whakarongotai Marae with the Waikanae town centre. This will involve creating gardens for people to sit and relax, paving and improved street lighting to anchor the Marae to the old SH1 via Frater Lane.
The cultural thread will help people find their way from the Greater Wellington Regional Council car park, past the Marae, through the carpark to Mahara Place and ultimately through to the railway station and Ngaio Road.
We are working closely together to see what cultural elements can be incorporated into the design to reflect our heritage. Together we’ll be working on the design over the next few months with the aim of starting physical construction in 2018.
We will continue to work with the community as we progress plans.