As TRM does not have our own cafe or restaurant we are always asked which is the best dining-out facility – always an important decision for our tired inmates after a hard day fishing.
When we held a guests’ survey, RUST won the TRM guests favourite eating-out venue poll by a country mile (1.6 km).
Adjoining the “CBD” (?) on the south side are several new shops and/or offices – for Bayleys Real Estate – recently opened on the corner beside Doyles accountants office – fronting on to the large car park opposite the Turangi Tavern and in front of Hammer Hardware.
(If you need a good land agent, ask for Maurice Heappey)
Demand for holiday homes now exceeds supply.
A year ago this Taupahi Road side of SH1 displayed many “For Sale” signs in all directions. Now they are nearly all gone.
This catch-up is very overdue too.
Turangi shopping centre was originally designed in the 1960’s mall style by the Government (MOW – Ministry of Works) to cater for about 10,000 residents.
Not a good look for tourists.
Yet perhaps surprisingly, at the same time over the last year, five new retail shops or offices have been developed on the southern perimeter of the existing pedestrian mall.
Perhaps the attraction on the west side of the mall is the closer vehicle parking and access as this is where Turangi’s infamous taxi stand is located.
Apart from TRM’s own classic vintage Airport Taxi (exclusive to TRM inmates – working image on right unloading overseas guests at Toe-paw Airport terminal, or also reserved specially for Dame Didymo Davina’s formal regal occasions) Turangi does not have any taxis (yet?) but that just shows how forward thinking local business is. The taxi stand is waiting…
The resource consent proposal for a new service centre – on the Parklands Motel site on the eastern side of SH1 opposite the existing Z petrol station and Burger-King complex – has been declined. Even NZTA (NZ Transport Authority) opposed it.
After a year of discussions and objections, this proposal generated intense interest from residents on the eastern side of SH1 opposing and the rest of Turangi located on the western side of SH1 supporting the commercial proposal.
The opposition (NIMBY’S ?) to the service centre appeared mainly upset about any potential detrimental commercial impacts in the residential zone. The supporters were more motivated about any new employment opportunities. Surprisingly Council organisations like DGLT (Destination Great Lake Toe-paw) and EGLT Enterprise Great Lake Toe-paw) supported it against their own District Plan zoning?
Commissioner Bill Wasley said the new development on the east side of State Highway 1, beside Parkland Motel, would most likely result in economic benefits for Turangi.
However, the proposed development was in an area zoned as residential – not commercial – in Taupō District Council’s district plan, he said.
“While we acknowledge that the proposal will result in positive economic benefits, we do not believe that these override the District Plan objectives and policies and the concerns we have expressed in respect of character, amenity and visual effects,” he said.
“The community and residents are entitled to rely on the District Plan policies and objectives and accordingly, we believe in this situation, that the positive benefits do not overcome or address concerns about the potential adverse effects on character and amenity of the ‘Riverside’ area,” Wasley said.
Other not so obvious developments were the conversion of the Council offices to house DOC (Department of Conservation).
Only a couple of years ago DOC deserted their offices in Turangi to new offices at Taupo. Now they have wisely returned and are sharing Council space until – well that is the rumor? – flash new offices are to be developed on the site of the Information Office (iSite).
Meanwhile the visitor information office has been repaired to fix leaks and converted to accommodate the Volcanic Activity Centre.
Already the hot gossip from our local Felicity Ferret suggests the far sighted local Community Board are believed to be planning complete redevelopment of the iSite corner. This would be their most important future project to incorporate the Council and DOC and another still highly confidential (watch this space) tourist facility in a major new building at the main entrance to the Turangi CBD. We cannot tell any more as Toe-paw council might find out…
The closure announced recently of the ANZ Bank has been strongly criticised. This follows the pattern in many other small towns from Wainuiomata to Pahiatua where major banks have decided to abandon their loyal customer base wherever they no longer appear as profitable and leave them with an ATM machine instead.
Fortunately Turangi has KiwiBank located in the wonderful Stationery shop where the service is so much better along the mall. Now that so many bank customers have moved, the loss of ANZ may not be as difficult as imagined? Locals are wondering who will occupy the old bank? Time will tell.
But we saved the best for last –
For anglers, the most talked about and admired major construction project was attractively located amongst native bush on the banks of the Tongariro River.
What a perfect stress free place to sit and ponder and listen to the tuis.
Thank you to Peter and the team from Creel Lodge.
Anglers seen from the seat last week confirm summer has arrived on the Tongariro River.
Image on right is the only other river bank seat overlooking the Major Jones Pool.
This is locally referred to as the “Courtney Place” bus stop.
Hence the “Courtney” Place bus stop?
Local humour… Can’t beat it.