Proud of its unique Taranaki landscape and attractive lifestyle, Ngāmotu New Plymouth is faced with 21st century challenges. Over-extended spatially at low density, and overly reliant on retail at a time when people’s shopping habits are changing, the city centre needs to evolve as a hub for community and a leisure destination.
Elevating landscape will reframe the city centre, revitalising the Huatoki as its well-loved walkway has done for the coast. Resilience to climate change, and an attractive connected and walkable city centre will enhance people’s experience and connection to place—inviting residents to live and visitors to stay.
The Ngāmotu New Plymouth City Centre Strategy was adopted with an overwhelming level of support from councillors, iwi and hapū, business and the community. As with all successful strategies the process was as important as the final product, and partnership with tangata whenua and council was key to this success.
By 2050 it is envisaged that the city centre will be the place where people go for a range of experiences beyond shopping. It will be the thriving cultural, leisure and community hub delivering a diversity of retail, cultural and social experiences for everyone to enjoy. Founded within all of this, the manaakitanga and aroha that Puke Ariki was renowned for—embracing all, and reclaiming the name Ngāmotu—the presence of the city’s past and present will resonate in a shared future.
The Ngāmotu New Plymouth City Centre Strategy is a well communicated one and is easy to translate into actions, from the overarching ideas down to the proposed directions and strategic approach. A key part of the success of the city centre strategy is the formal partnership between Ngāti te Whiti and the New Plymouth District Council. Key to the strategy’s creation were the inputs from Linda McCulloch (Ngāti te Whiti), and Sarah Mako (Te Kotahitanga o Te Atiawa).
The strategy does well to articulate responses to city scale issues in a series of site specific propositions. There is a clear vision for what is to be achieved by 2050 which includes the opportunity for Ngāti te Whiti to assert mana and recognise the mauri of this place. The overwhelming support for the adopted strategy is testament to the collaborative effort undertaken throughout this project, with landscape architectural input being an invaluable component in enabling this success.
New Plymouth District Council in partnership with Ngāti te Whiti
Travis Wooller, Damian Powley, Tim Watts, Oriane Merindol + Deb Lee Sang
Richard Bain (Bluemarble)