Connecting Our City To The Sea
A project close to my heart is creating a new gateway to our city and connecting the city to the sea. This involves revitalising the Elma Turner Library Precinct in a way that will effectively link the city to Rutherford Park and the Trafalgar Centre and then beyond that, to the Marina, the Haven Precinct and our magnificent waterfront. To get this right, it is important that no part of the city to sea link should be considered strictly in isolation – and that’s part of the big picture thinking I need to employ as Mayor.
City to Sea is not a new project. In fact improving this connection was one of the reasons I first stood for council in 2007 and I’ve written and spoken about the importance of improving our river and waterfront on many occasions. It’s also a critical part of the Heart of Nelson Strategy that has been strongly supported by the community, and previous Councils have made attempts at advancing projects along this link. Property purchases have been made and this vacant real estate needs to have its potential realised.
My challenge has been to bring these projects together through the Long Term and Annual Plans with allocated budgets that will allow work to get underway. Already you can see the progress made in Rutherford Park and a project manager has been appointed to oversee the Haven Precinct. In addition to this, the long-muted Marina Developments are proceeding. I hope to see an Advisory Group of experienced local people appointed to make sure progress occurs in the right direction. Also at the Marina, the Hardstand and Travel Lift have been secured. Finally we’re on track to match other marinas around the country with a service package expected by boaties – both local and visiting. On top of this, the initial concept work on the Elma Turner Library is underway and will ensure that one of our most-used and well-loved facilities continues to be relevant and accessible into the future.
There’s lots to achieve in the next three years and I’m looking forward to it.
I am committed to working with property owners, retailers, businesses and the hospitality sector, to ensure that Nelson’s CBD is the vibrant and busy heart of our region that it deserves to be.
Central cities around New Zealand are seeing rapid change with a digital presence, an exceptional customer experience, and quality public spaces being shown as critical to long-term business success.
Our CBD is the biggest centre in the top of the South Island and we must ensure that it is an accessible and attractive destination for locals and visitors.
It is essential that Nelson’s CBD is a vibrant, attractive and busy commercial centre for our city. To achieve this, we need more people living and working in and near the city, so that the CBD develops as a neighbourhood with a safe attractive and a modern urban vibe no matter what the hour. We also need to ensure people can easily travel to and park in the city. Good public transport will play an important role but I believe any suggestions to limit parking, remove the free hour or push up current parking prices could risk business viability.
A vibrant city is about attracting people year-round in order to generate activity and jobs within the CBD’s business, retail and hospitality sectors.
This Council has supported inner city living by waiving development contributions and is in the process of changing planning rules to allow creative solutions for better building conversions.
We will continue to work closely with Uniquely Nelson to make sure Nelson’s CBD continues to thrive. Investment in quality public spaces is underway as Council partners with business in areas such as Church St, strengthens connections to NMIT, and lifts the moratorium on outdoor dining spaces. All have been welcomed by our city’s businesses and valuable institutions.
In addition to these steps, I am aware that there are currently positive private-sector building developments being planned for the CBD across a range of precincts and, with Farmers retained in the CBD, I will continue to support the private sector to achieve a new generation store within the city.
Lets not forget too, that expressions of interest will be called for redevelopment of the Council-owned State Advances Building and that too offers plenty of scope for urban revitalisation right in the heart of the city.
One area really making inroads in the last year is securing Nelson as a conference destination. Nelson Tasman Tourism and our conference venues have promoted Nelson well and are delivering a top-class experience. This very full programme of events over recent months has, without doubt, been supported by increased air services to and from the region.
As a proactive Council we’ve also kept the programme of sports and cultural events up for the benefit of locals and visitors alike. With the re-opening of the Trafalgar Centre and the Suter later this year and the re-opening of Nelson School of Music next year, there is no doubt that there is plenty of growth still to come.
So in the next three years, with the right leadership, you’ll see Elma Turner library redevelopment as part of the Riverside Precinct, greater summer use of upper Trafalgar Street and the opening up of the Museum frontage, city apartment construction underway, new private sector commercial development, and Rutherford Park grow and develop as an urban park.
Nelson you’re looking good!