Kerikeri enjoys an enviable climate, location and affordable lifestyle and these attributes are the primary driver for ongoing population growth for the town. In order to manage that growth we need to have planning and infrastructure in place.
We saw rapid expansion in the first half of the last decade and were unprepared for it from a planning perspective. Development has been ad-hoc with little regard to roading and sewage infrastructure impact which results in unaffordable servicing costs and ultimately higher rates.
The very liveability that draws people to Kerikeri could esily be lost if we continue with this approach.
The District Plan is due for review every 10 years and now is the time to be thinking about how we want Kerikeri to develop.
There has been little distinction between industrial and commercial zones while overall development has been allowed to spread outwards consuming high quality soils for housing. Furthermore, the ad-hoc nature of that development results in dead-end roads that put further pressure on existing infrastructure.
Zoning changes are required to enable more intensive development in or around the CBD.
Most roads feed into Kerikeri Road! After school traffic from Hone Heke Road queues to get into Kerikeri road (top) and a significant portion of that then continues through and chokes the town center (bottom).: Photo Cliff Mail
Modern liveable cities have learned to mingle people and traffic. Auckland has examples such as Fort St (some good before and after images at this link). Kerikeri Main Street could have something similar instead of the car dominating.
However this cannot be contemplated until an alternative road from Countdown on Butler Road to
Homestead Road and then to Clark Road as a second stage, is constructed, as conceived in the Kerikeri/Waipapa Structure Plan 2007. This would enable a grid road system, which we have long advocated without apparent effect. Council has purchased almost all the land but there has been no action.
High density housing in Kerikeri
Kerikeri/Waipapa Structure Plan 2007 (FNDC)