Picton in ferry high spirits

16:00, Dec 13 2013

The spirits of Picton residents have been lifted and the town is visibly busier, business owners say.

The decision to keep the ferry terminal in Picton instead of shifting it to Clifford Bay, near Seddon, was a relief for Pictonites, businesspeople in particular.

Trade Aid volunteer Lorna McMahon said she had noticed a more positive atmosphere in the town.

The Trade Aid store had been busier than before, and she had noticed some businesses had been doing up their shopfront.

"We hope this is a sign of things to come and that it will be a busy season," Ms McMahon said.

Sportworld Picton part-owner Lawrie Stevenson agreed that people appeared more positive.


The Clifford Bay decision had given people much-needed security for their businesses and properties, he said.

Karaka Wood Gallery owner Helen Neighbour-Cone said Picton residents could not be complacent and the town could not just depend on the ferry terminal staying put.

"As retailers we need to be unified and work together to promote Picton," she said.

Mrs Neighbour-Cone had been in Picton since March and accepted that she might have a different view to other local shop owners.

Other towns - such as Kaikoura - had made a great success of growing their town and she believed Picton could do the same.

Seaside Gems owner Alex Leitch agreed there was still work ahead for Picton.

"The ferry staying is a great relief, as it would have affected the whole top of the South Island.

"But luckily that didn't happen and we can grow as a town," he said.

Cortado Restaurant Bar & Cafe was also enjoying a busy spell in the lead-up to Christmas.

Employee Annie Keir said she was relieved the ferries would continue to operate out of Picton.

Having grown up in the town she had been concerned for its future and her own.

"It [the Clifford Bay decision] has provided us with long-term peace of mind.

"With the open-minded and friendly Picton residents things can only get even better," she said.

The Marlborough Express