The official opening of the brand new and improved Tawa town centre was attended by the community, contractors and Council officials to celebrate the end of the project in March 2019.
The purpose of the Tawa town centre improvement project was to:
- Create a vibrant town centre that attracts people
- Encourage best use and investment
- Improve connectivity and lighting
- Contribute to the local marketing and branding strategy
- Improve way finding between public transport routes, park, and ride facilities
- Create functional and useable spaces.
The project was broken down into three phases – improved pedestrian access between the main street and the shopping district, the commissioning of a large wall mural, and an upgrade of Tawa’s central plaza.
The installation of a vibrant new mural painted on the New World wall, running the length of the laneway to the south of the plaza. Following two public calls for artists in 2017, Poihakena Ngawati Ngati Hine (Poi) of Ngapuhi and Tainui was awarded the mural contract.
Improvements to Main Road
Improved pedestrian connections have been established within the shopping district on Main Road between Surrey Street and Cambridge Street, with the replacement of the existing pedestrian crossings with two new raised pedestrian crossings.
Ward Councillor Peter Gilberd says parking on Main Road has also been made easier and safer with the painting of new larger parking spaces. Improved lane markings for southbound traffic on Main Road have also been added at the Cambridge Street roundabout.
Improvements to the Plaza
The project included new green spaces, planting, street furniture, applying a decorative pattern to the footpath surface, and additional lighting.
Indicative concept plan (3.2MB PDF)
See the answer to frequently-asked questions about this project: FAQs on Tawa Town Centre improvement project.
An exciting new mural has been painted on the New World wall, running the length of the laneway to the south of the plaza. Following two public calls for artists in 2017, Poihakena Ngawati Ngati Hine (Poi) of Ngapuhi, Tainui was awarded the mural contract.
"I guess what inspires me as an artist and a designer is knowing my cultural heritage and where I come from and to also be proud to hand such mana down to the next generation."
Poi has a Diploma in Media Arts and a Bachelors of Media Arts Degree with graphic design as his major. Poi naturally had skills in illustration and painting from a very young age. It wasn't until he was 15 years old that he was introduced to a spray can. From there he integrated his skills with the pencil into the discipline of graffiti. You can check out some of his artwork on his Instagram page.