Bright Future for Rangiora Town Centre

The Council is confident in the ongoing success, growth, and vibrancy of the Rangiora Town Centre after adopting a bold new plan earlier this week. The Rangiora Town Centre Strategy – Blueprint to 2030+ presents a concept of what the Town Centre should look and feel like in the future and identifies 10 major projects that will help turn that vision into reality.

It also plans for continuing retail and commercial growth, with approximately 30,000 people expected to call Rangiora home by 2048.
Feedback from the community helped shape the final Strategy following extensive public consultation earlier this year. Hundreds of residents submitted their ideas at the Rangiora Town Centre: Past and Future popup display in The Gables Arcade, with roughly 1,600 people visiting the display during February and March.

Popular feedback topics included car parking, the importance of sustainability, support for a rail/transport hub and making the Town Centre friendlier for cycling and walking.

Councillor Kirstyn Barnett was Chair for the Rangiora Town Centre Strategy Hearing Panel and says overall there was a high level of support from those who contributed.

“We were delighted with the enthusiastic response from the community and it was helpful to see some consistent themes emerge and be able to address them in the final Strategy.”

She says that as a result of the feedback, several changes have been made to the final Strategy, including acknowledging that the community is keen to see a greater range of car parking options in the Town Centre. It’s intended that some 600 to 800 additional parking spaces will be provided in the Town Centre by 2048, alongside other improvements such as a review of the speed limit in the Town Centre.
The hearing panel also recommended that the Strategy should make stronger links to positive environmental outcomes throughout its implementation and reference the Council’s Sustainability Strategy.

The Strategy was largely developed before the emergence of the Covid-19 pandemic and its associated economic impacts. Simon Hart is responsible for leading the Council’s Covid recovery response and says while the Strategy remains valid in light of the disaster, the rate at which it is implemented could be affected by the availability of funding.

However, he says there are opportunities for the Rangiora Town Centre Strategy and the Council’s Covid-19 Recovery Plan to be mutually supportive.

“One of the aims of the Recovery Plan will be to stimulate investment in the local economy and we can help encourage this through accelerating individual projects such as those within the Town Centre Strategy.”

To assist, the Council has established a working group, which will be responsible for recommending a funding programme for projects identified in both the Rangiora Town Centre Strategy and the Kaiapoi Town Centre Plan for Council consideration as part of its Long Term Plan 2021/31.

The upcoming District Plan Review will also have an important part to play, as the Strategy looks to accommodate new retail and commercial development by expanding the Town Centre’s Business 1 Zone towards the east/northeast. Residents will have the opportunity to submit on zone changes during consultation on the Proposed District Plan in 2021.

The Rangiora Town Centre Strategy – Blueprint to 2030+ is available to view on the Council’s website, it replaces the previous Rangiora Town Centre Strategy RTC2020, adopted in 2010. A summary of public feedback and the Hearing Panel’s recommendations is also available.