Green light for targeted rates for Tawa businesses to help improve the area
Tawa business and property owners have voted to bring in a targeted rate for the suburb.
The rate, which could cost as much as an extra $1.50 a day, depending on the size of the building, would create about $90,000 a year to be used to create a Business Improvement District (BID).
There are 49 BIDs in Auckland and they have been established in Kilbirnie, Khandallah and Miramar.
Business consultant for the Tawa BID, Tony Henderson-Newport, said the vote, which closed on December 16, was incredibly pleasing.
He said 25 per cent of the business and property owners needed to vote, and 33 per cent did.
He did not have the complete results yet, but said the majority gave "overwhelming support" towards the BID.
"The funds from [Wellington City Council] get paid in July, but we want to be well ahead of that, making preparations to get cracking and improve Tawa as a business area," Henderson-Newport said.
He said the British and Irish Lions rugby tour this year was one event Tawa needed to make the most of, attracting visitors to spend time and money in the suburb's retail area.
An annual general meeting will be held in late January or early February to ratify the BID vote, and then the work could begin on strategy and communications, Henderson-Newport said.
In November, Peter Cohen, who owns the building that housed Mary Potter Hospice shop on Main Rd, expressed unease about what he said was a lack of clarity about what the targeted rate would cost.
He said the rate had gone from $1 to $1.50 without enough communication from the BID committee.
But committee member Ant Simon said the process had been transparent and nothing that was done would benefit one building or business owner over another.
Henderson-Newport said in the weeks leading up to the vote deadline, he sat down with Cohen and was able to demonstrate the "depth of engagement" that was carried out in Tawa and allay fears.
"We wanted to make sure people were listened to and we achieved that.
"Peter had valid gripes, but we were able to talk to him amicably."
Tawa has also been earmarked for a $1 million city centre upgrade by Wellington City Council.