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SPREADING THE WORD: Elevate Ōtaki committee members James Cootes and Angela Buswell at the Elevate Ōtaki information stall during last weekend’s kite festival.


Elevate Ōtaki has geared up its social media work in recent weeks, to celebrate what Ōtaki stands for and, as we say, “to help elevate our sweet little slice of Aotearoa”.

The group consists of a committee of eight passionate, purposeful locals who share a vision

to support a thriving, bustling, enhanced community. We work to promote Ōtaki and Te Horo, build business confidence and advocate for the district.

We care about one thing, and that is our community. Every person, every whānau, every business, every organisation. We want to actively promote our town for its individuality, manaakitanga and mana.

Since its last networking event in December, Elevate Ōtaki has been working with local business owners to capture their stories and connections to Ōtaki, sharing these on our new social media channels – Facebook and Instagram (@elevateotaki).

From the new bellissimo pizzeria, Antonio’s, to the lovely Melissa and Leon Kingi at Black & Co, to the hardworking Steven and Janine – husband and wife duo at New World – it’s been a pleasure sharing their stories, and the impact they all make on our town.

We look forward to sharing many more.

The Elevate Ōtaki social media channels not only connect community and business networks, but also present the vibrancy and cultural goings-on around our place, acknowledging Ōtaki as a destination where out-of-towners will want to stop.

In collaboration with local voices and local legends, the next project is to present a vibrant and engaging identity for Ōtaki. The purpose of this is to unify and celebrate our town as one. To acknowledge our history and heritage, our strengths, our passions and our people. An identity that we can all relate to, and one that we can all be proud of.

Elevate Ōtaki has, of course, been asked the fundamental question: Why?

Our intent behind curating this work is quite simply to celebrate what our town stands for. We’re a collective that wants to put you, the residents of Ōtaki, at the centre of this work.

In celebrating our diversity, innovation, creativity and mana, we are able to better connect with one another. And when we connect, we are able to collaborate, share ideas and learn from one another’s achievements, giving us all the opportunity to thrive.

It’s important to note that we’re not trying to change anything about who we already are. We’re working to celebrate it.

This is a project and a conversation that will be around a while. In fact, there’s no reason for it to ever end as Ōtaki grows and evolves into the future. We believe it takes a community to elevate a town, and we invite you all to embrace this journey as one that we take on together. We encourage you to join the conversation.

Our next community hui will take place soon. Make sure you find us on Facebook to be notified of this, and to place feedback on some of the things you feel make our town and our identity unique.

Your voice matters and is important to us. If you’d like to contact us, go to our Facebook page or email

Ngā mihi nui, Ōtaki.

James Cootes
Elevate Ōtaki chair

Elevate Ōtaki – promoting a unique town



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