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Most Ōtaki residents look forward to the time when traffic stops clogging our main north/south road and passes by on the completed PP2Ō expressway.

Fridays, holidays and weekends with traffic at a standstill for kilometres in either direction should be a thing of the past.

Our shopkeepers, business owners and operators aren’t so sure. There are doomsayers who believe that the business and commercial areas of Ōtaki will die.

There are two reasons I believe this won’t happen. Sure, we will have less traffic, but it’s the aim of two groups to attract attention to our township and to encourage visitors to get off the expressway to patronise our businesses and use our facilities.

On the front page of this issue are details about the Gateway sculptures. These will be at the north and south expressway exits/entrances to Ōtaki and will be visible from some distance.

They are the result of considerable discussion and development by the Gateway

Steering Group, including representatives of Ngā Hapū o Ōtaki, NZTA, Ōtaki Community Board, KCDC, Fletchers, designers and others.

They are an important part of what Ōtaki Ward Councillor James Cootes argued for with the Board of Enquiry which set down the consents and design requirements for the whole PP2Ō. They aren’t just signs but a statement that captures the history of Ōtaki and all early residents – Māori, whalers, Chinese and Europeans.

The sculptures say “who we are and where we come from”. And, I believe, they are something of which the whole community can be proud. Their aim is to get people to slow down, visit the town, use our amenities and support our economy and local jobs.

The other group with the same objective is Elevate Ōtaki. Once again this was a brainchild of James Cootes and it’s currently working on a programme to promote and develop Ōtaki as a destination, not just a place you bypass. There will be a lot more to say about the work of Elevate Ōtaki in the future.

I’m privileged to be involved in the work of both these groups.

Groups aim at attracting attention to our town

 
 
 

Home page stories from June 2019

 

Sculpture designs to signify the gateways into Ōtaki were revealed at Ōtaki Community Board meeting. READ MORE

Rex Duckett’s PitRat Racing team passion for drag racing is edging him near the top in New Zealand. READ MORE

Original hump was too aggressive so Tasman Road got its long-awaited speed hump at the end of May. READ MORE

Eric King saw ramp constructed when he was 13, then watched as it was demolished

 

Home page stories from May 2019

Wylie family pitches in as a record number of trees to be planted this year on Ōtaki River. READ MORE

Lack of Peka Peka expressway interchange challenged by Action group Finish Our Road (FOR). READ MORE

Careers of the future in tech skills beckon Ōtaki’s young people at the Māoriland Tech Creative Hub. READ MORE

Thieves walk off with wooden bench seat, donated by Rotary, at the Ōtaki River estuary lookout. READ MORE

 

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