Let's make Papakura a destination town that stands out – that's the word from town centre manager Kathleen Lindesay and if she has her way Papakura will be pulling in people from all over Auckland.
Part of making the town a hot spot will be attracting more outlet stores, she says.
"It only takes one or two and then it grows."
With five outlet stores already, she's keen to see more womenswear and accessory shops.
Ms Lindesay has been the town centre manager for a year and says she's enjoying working every day to improve Papakura and helping make it a great place to live, work and shop.
"I really appreciate the support of the Progressive Papakura Committee and also the retailers and businesses who have embraced me and been really supportive in my first year."
Lately she's been busy phoning businesses outside of Papakura to let them know about the outlet store direction she wants the town centre to take.
Also in the pipeline is the the possibility of regular craft markets, an idea now being researched.
"What I really need is someone to put their hand up and run it for me."
She's keen to give the markets a local flavour where people have played a part in making what they sell.
Another priority is increasing CCTV coverage in the town centre – she's working on that now and says it will benefit businesses, the public, retailers and landlords.
Behind the scenes people from Safer Papakura, Maori Wardens, Papakura Local Board and community groups are already working together to create a place where people want to come to have a coffee, shop and enjoy the experience, she says.
Local board deputy chairman Brent Catchpole says the board wants to work with businesses and the business association to make sure there is a secure and vibrant shopping area that people can come to.
"One of the areas I'm pushing hard for is an i-site at the railway station. This will help people coming to Papakura to know where to go.
"We're conscious about the need for quality shops in the area and we're also wanting to work with building owners to upgrade their premises," Mr Catchpole says.
Ms Lindesay is keen to get feedback and ideas from the public. She's also interested to hear from anyone who'd like to be a part of a craft market. Contact her on firstname.lastname@example.org or 2988996 or 0220997331.
- Papakura Courier
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