We want people to be attracted into our town centre – both Masterton residents and those that are visiting – and to create spaces that facilitate community connection.
We want people to be interested in what’s going on in our town centre and choose to meet their friends in the town centre for a coffee or lunch – whatever it may be. A vibrant and interesting town centre that attracts people helps build:
- Community connection and satisfaction
- Tourism appeal
- Foot traffic through town
- Retail spending in our town centre businesses
- Investor’s confidence around investing in our town centre.
The Town Centre Strategy lays the foundation for how we’re going to go about this rejuvenation. There are four over-arching things we want to focus on as high-level objectives, Māori cultural values will be woven throughout these objectives:
- Increase connection with the Waipoua River – Masterton is the only Wairarapa town set on a river. Let’s make the most of it!
- Joining things up – we need to create linkages throughout the town between key features.
- Focusing investment – helping to create a “heart” for the town centre and avoid it spreading out
- Greening things up – bringing in more natural landscapes and plantings.
We have ten key projects that we’re going to focus on:
- Waipoua River – recognising and celebrating the Waipoua River landscape
- Park Street – creating a strong east-west linear active public space as a connection between Queen Elizabeth Park and the town centre.
- Bruce Street – create a strong art connection between Queen Elizabeth Park that supports diverse use of the street
- Dixon Street – link the park to the town centre and make the street more user-friendly
- Queen Street – consolidate the main shopping/café area
- Town Hall Precinct – activate the town square so it is a viable and attractive space to do business
- SH2: East/West connections – enable better east-west flow of pedestrians, cyclists and traffic from adjoining neighbourhoods
- Railway link:shared cycle path – provide an east-west active movement corridor from the railway station through the town centre, connecting the eastern and western suburbs
- Placemaking – create an identity for the town centre that reflects the community of Masterton and its culture and heritage
- Library Square – develop the library precinct to reflect the changing needs of the community.
Some of the above projects will happen sooner than others. To start with we’re going to be exploring placemaking possibilities through initiatives called ‘parklets’.
Parklets are small seating areas or green spaces created as a public amenity alongside a pavement, often in former parking spaces.
The parklets will be established on a temporary basis outside key areas in town, in collaboration with business owners in the beginning, and we will look at having more permanent facilities in the future.
Don Luciano café on King Street is keen to host the first parklet. Once it’s up and running we encourage you to visit and tell us what you think about it, what you like about it and what you would like done differently.
These are a great way for us to explore possibilities and what people in our community are keen to see more of, but they’re only the beginning of our whole rejuvenation project.
If you’re a business owner that’s keen to get involved, flick us an email: email@example.com.
The parklets were spread across Queen Street, King Street & Park Street.
Masterton’s town centre needs a rethink – we’ve been aware of this for a while and have been speaking with our community about possibilities.
This started with community engagement led by Massey University Toi Aria and assisted by Letting Space in 2016. There were some key themes that came out of this engagement that have been taken into the current Town Centre Strategy. For example, people wanted connectivity and a revitalisation of parks and public spaces.
We took these themes away and came up with some proposed objectives. We asked people their thoughts in early 2018 and the response was strong – people felt there needed to be a rejuvenation. The majority of people who gave us feedback agreed with our four high-level objectives.
People told us they thought connection with the Waipoua River and focusing on improving Queen Street were the most important projects.
We know some people may be concerned about reduced parking in the town centre. We’re lucky to have a large number of free parking spaces in our central business district – much more than many other regional towns. To help you locate the best parking spaces we’ve put together this handy map.
As they say, Rome wasn’t built in a day. The Town Centre Strategy is a plan for Masterton for the next 20 years and beyond. Some things happened quickly, like initial placemaking initiatives and other projects will start to come to fruition over the next few years. The redevelopment of lower Queen Street will begin in 2021.
This investment doesn’t take anything away from other important work we are undertaking.
It’s important to highlight that we have engaged with our community extensively on plans for investment in the town centre and received strong support. This sort of investment helps build our social connection and sense of satisfaction within our town, as well as assisting economic development.
Although the Council has committed $3.63 million to undertake works to revamp the town centre to a standard that will attract residents and visitors, this is going to start off on a very small scale to ensure we try and test an idea before spending a substantial amount on it. We want to ensure we have the full support of the community to make this successful and exciting for everyone.