Tawa town centre improvement project

The purpose of the Tawa town centre improvement project is to make the centre a more attractive, vibrant, and safe place.

We want to help create a destination that accommodates growth, attracts people, encourages diverse investment, and improves civil infrastructure – helping to support a stronger town identity.

The purpose of the Tawa town centre improvement project is 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.

Within the project is an upgrade of Tawa’s central plaza, which was identified as a key priority by the local community. 

It will improve pedestrian connections within the shopping district and create a gathering space that is flexible to facilitate community events and support surrounding businesses. Artwork will also contribute to enhancing Tawa’s identity.

Tawa town centre plaza upgrade

The plaza upgrade will:

  • De-clutter and remove degraded elements (eg. Bollards, old light columns, furniture)
  • Improve the plaza and adjacent laneway with new planting, street furniture, artwork, and lighting
  • Improve safety with consistent lighting and encouraging more use of the plaza
  • Support existing businesses and encourage new investment in Tawa.

Indicative concept plan (3.2MB PDF)


Frequently-asked questions

See the answer to frequently-asked questions about this project: FAQs on Tawa Town Centre improvement project.


The Council has been working on a wider project within Tawa since February 2015 when it was approved by the Transport and Urban Development Committee, as part of the Long Term Plan. The wider plan seeks to improve Tawa town to enable urban growth and economic development, and the need to improve the town centre and infrastructure.

Initial consultations with the Tawa community started March-April 2015, and continued November-December 2015, and 27 July–26 August 2016.

Key improvements were put forward for feedback in July 2016 and then prioritised in line with the Council’s budget. The community identified upgrading the plaza as a key priority as it was viewed to have the most potential to positively impact the centre.

Project status

The project is in the detailed design phase and due to go out for tender in September, subject to finalising the design plans. Four key stakeholder meetings have been held during the design process (since October 2016).

The imagery provided on this website is from the developed design stage and some minor changes may eventuate through the later stages of detailed design to accommodate existing underground service locations as well as budget.

To enable the flexible-use space in the plaza, the raised planter bed needs to be removed. The existing raised planter divides the plaza into two distinct sides. The new design provides more space and opportunity for events and activities. The Council will also provide an event power plinth so community groups can easily access power for public events.

The existing cherry trees will be relocated to Grasslees Reserve, and additional cherry trees will be planted alongside them to create a grove of spring blossoms near existing seating and pathways. The best time to move the cherry trees so they can adapt to relocation is is in August. New trees will be planted in the plaza in different locations. These will be a small tree species and better suited to the plaza layout


An exciting new mural is planned for 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 has been 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.

Poihakena Ngawati Ngati Hine (Poi)

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.

Indicative timeframe

  • August 2017: detailed design and cherry tree relocation
  • September 2017: mural art – pending favourable weather
  • September/November 2017: tender process
  • November/December 2017: construction starts -  an estimate only and subject to appointing a contractor and favourable weather