Mounties to design their town

Scott Brundell on Mount Main street.

Mount Maunganui residents are being invited to design their ‘town of the future’.

A presentation by local businessman Scott Brundell to the Tauranga City Council’s annual plan has been the catalyst for renewed interest in the future of the area.

Scott discussed several key areas including pedestrianisation of Maunganui Rd between Prince Ave and Pacific Ave and addressing the parking and traffic issues in the area. He suggests a small events and cultural centre located centrally with views back across Pilot Bay towards Tauranga; a sea pool at Moturiki Island; and the removal of large vehicles from the centre of the township.

Papamoa/Mount ward councillor Dawn Kiddie says the council passed a resolution in response to Scott’s submission that Council bring back an issues and options paper to decide on funding for a spatial plan for Mount Maunganui.

“We all pay rates here and those rates appear to not be spent in our area.”

Papamoa/Mount ward councillor Steve Morris says there will be funding for neighbourhood plans for other suburbs too, like Maungatapu and Papamoa but The Mount is “first cab off the rank”.

Scott’s ideas are being expanded to include ideas from the many local community and iwi groups, individuals, businesses and other organisations.

A public meeting is planned for September but in the meantime a scoping group has come together to flesh out more of the key discussion points.

Some of these include Pilot Bay, Mount Hot Pools, Mount Main Beach, Shark Alley, Mount Drury, the height of buildings, visitor information, community centre, Mainstreet, youth, wellness, social and sport events, wildlife, sustainability, community organisations, and transport.

Kiddie has been liaising with both hapu in the area - Ngati Kuku and Ngai Tukairangi.

“We don’t have a presence here,” says Chris Stokes of Ngati Kuku.

“We just see names. This is an important waka area.”

Scott says The Mount is “a village”.

“We don’t want to cosmopolitanise the place like Surfers Paradise. Pedestrianising Mainstreet between Prince and Pacific will help create more specialised space for shops.”

Scott proposes a car parking building on council land near May St, with an event centre on the top floor to host TED talks, community workshops and exhibitions.

“There are 40 car parks there presently. This could be replaced with a multi-storey carpark building with four levels, providing 120 car parks and sympathetic to the area with an exterior vertical garden. The top level can include a café, gallery and outdoor space and be used for cultural activities, additionally providing panoramic views across Pilot Bay.”

“We can’t use the light poles on Mainstreet for banners, flags or lights because they are rusting from the inside,” says Mount Mainstreet manager Mandy Gillgren.

“The Mount should look amazing.”

Scott’s concepts will be used to initiate conversation amongst the community, so that a plan can be developed.

“We want people to come up with their own ideas,” says Kiddie.

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