You might have noticed that we’ve changed the name of this project from “Town Centre rejuvenation” to the Masterton Revamp. We’re now looking wider than just the work in the Town Centre and thinking about how we welcome people into the district, whether it be visitors to the district or whanau returning home.
All the work that has been done to date on the Town Centre, including the Town Centre strategy, has provided some strong foundations for the project so we’re definitely not starting from scratch! The plan is still to kick off the town centre work with lower Queen Street after the busy 2021/22 Christmas period, but we’ll also be doing some work around the north entrance and the Kuripuni roundabout in 2021.
We want people to be attracted to our town – both Masterton residents and those that are visiting – and to create spaces that facilitate community connection. We plan to deliver improvements to our town centre and entrances into Masterton over a 10 year period and there are four over-arching things we want to focus on delivering:
- 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.
The key projects that we’re going to focus on:
- Waipoua River precinct – recognising and celebrating the Waipoua landscape and how people interact with the river
- Queen Street – consolidating the main shopping/café area
- Park Street – creating an active east-west 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
- Charlies Lane – adding vibrancy to the laneway in conjunction with Masterton Trust Lands Trust
- Northern entrance – improvements and landscaping from the Ascension statue north to the town boundary
- Southern entrance – a multi-staged project that includes upgrades from the Waingawa river through to Kuripuni
- Coastal connection – 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
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 account. For example, people wanted connectivity and a revitalisation of parks and public spaces. We also know that the entry points into Masterton are tired and don’t necessarily reflect who we are. In our 2019 survey 8-in-10 residents agreed Council needs to do something about the entrances into Masterton, so now is the time to act.
The work is set out in our 2021-2031 LTP. We plan to begin work in 2021 and the current plan is to have the project completed by 2031.