An Elevate Ōtaki business survey has shown a high level of unpreparedness for changes that the new Peka Peka to Ōtaki (PP2Ō) expressway will bring, and there’s concern that Ōtaki doesn’t have a clear identity.
Those were two of the key points of the survey results released late last year. The survey was conducted by Kāpiti Business Projects in September. Its intent was to provide information for Elevate Ōtaki about how prepared for the expressway highway businesses were from Te Horo to Ōtaki.
“We wanted to understand what businesses were located on SH1 in Ōtaki/Te Horo, and identify how they were currently connecting with their customer bases,” says Helene Judge of Kāpiti Business Projects. “This included asking what, if any activities they are undertaking in preparation for the impact of the expressway.”
The secondary objective was to guide Elevate Ōtaki in the best way to invest its efforts to support businesses during and after expressway construction.
Of 77 businesses, 88 percent responded, with 75 percent of the respondents being either managers or owners of the targeted businesses.
Twelve key messages were identified from the survey responses:
Lack of a clear identity for Ōtaki.
High level of concern about the changes PP2Ō will bring.
High level of unpreparedness for PP2Ō.
Businesses were traditional marketers in a digital age.
PP2Ō construction is dirty.
A lack of business confidence in the future.
A lack of technology use.
Events in the area are good for business.
Limited public services (in the SH1 strip).
The SH1 retail strip feels like a mall without management.
Precinct revitalisation is desired.
Levin could be the new Ōtaki.
Elevate Ōtaki chair James Cootes says the survey has provided valuable information for the group.
“Some findings, like messy streets because of dust and dirt, have already been passed on,” James says. “We’ve spoken to KCDC staff who have in turn raised this with the PP2Ō team. Some areas are KCDC’s and PP2Ō are looking at what they can do in regard to the impact of their project.
“The issue of Ōtaki not having a clear identity is interesting, because that has been a big focus of Elevate Ōtaki during the past year or so. We’ll be revealing an identity soon that has been the result of extensive research and feedback by Flightdec.
“It will be exciting to see that come to fruition after so much work. We’ll be announcing the launch date soon.”
Meantime, Elevate Ōtaki has commissioned Kāpiti-based Talk Creative to help Ōtaki businesses engage with social media through new channels on Facebook and Instagram.
It’s a free service that’s intended to showcase businesses, services and what’s going on across Ōtaki and the region, connect businesses and create networking opportunities, support the community and inspire visitors to stay a while.
Any business wanting to take up the opportunity can contact Elevate Ōtaki through its Facebook page (@elevateotaki) or directly by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Elevate Ōtaki hosted a meeting of local businesses in early December (see photo) to outline the results of the survey and to discuss group’s activities.