Ngāhinapōuri is to undergo an $8.75 million upgrade which will help position the now sleepy Waipā village into a bustling community.
The work has been a long time coming, Waipā mayor Jim Mylchreest said when opening discussion on Tuesday at the council’s monthly meeting.
A Ngāhinapōuri Village Concept Plan was first mooted three years ago.
Consultants worked with the community to finalise a plan which features three large housing areas, a community hub and improved vehicle, pedestrian and cycle access.
At the core is a new roundabout at the intersection of SH39, Reid and Ngāhinapōuri roads followed by the development of a mixed-use centre providing goods, services, hospitality, entertainment and office space.
Community facilities including healthcare, childcare and exercise facilities are included in the concept plan with an option to redevelop the community hall.
Reid Road would be realigned to provide space to promote and prioritise pedestrian and cycle use between the school, open space, commercial amenities and facilities.
There would also be direct public pedestrian access to the popular nine-hole Ngāhinapōuri Golf course.
Strategic Projects driver Justine Kennedy said the concept plan was created in collaboration with mana whenua, key community stakeholders, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency, Ministry of Education and council.
“I’m so pleased that we were able to incorporate so many of these into the final plan and I am proud of what we’ve created together, which is a true reflection of the wider community’s vision for the village.”
Councillors Clare St Pierre and Bruce Thomas, whose Pirongia ward includes Ngāhinapōuri, both welcomed the adoption of the plan.
“It has been an extraordinary effort to get this finalised. The feedback we’ve had is the community is behind it,” said St Pierre.
“It is a great blueprint for the growth we are anticipating in the village.”
Thomas said the concept plan was very good but questioned what was in place to ensure the vision of improved pedestrian and cycle connectivity was adhered to.
“Our planning team is familiar with the concept plan,” said Kennedy.
Any future developments would be referenced to the plan.
“There will be a high degree of community interest to keep us honest,” she said.
Implementing the new concept plan will be subject to funding allocation through the 2024-34 Long Term Plan and private developer aspirations.