“We’re so excited to be holding our second Street Fest, where we will once again be showcasing all the things that make Papakura great” says Tracy Shackleton, Papakura Town Centre Manager. “It will be a whanau friendly event where we celebrate our town, our people and our cultural richness. Last year’s event was attended by over 6,000 people and had over 45 stalls. This year we’re aiming for 8,000 people!”
Food retailers will be offering yummy specials for the day and our shops will have market stalls out so visitors can grab a bargain. There will be plenty of entertainment too from our talented local schools and groups through the day so a real feast for the eyes as well as the belly!
Face painting, bouncy castle, the Play Truck and the Drain Game will all be there to name a few along with other community groups such as Pulman Park, the Rec Centre, Massey Park Pools, Smiths Avenue and the Toy Library among others. With room for 50 stalls there is something for everyone! The Corner are also doing a full activation of a Chill out zone in the Town Square by the fountain.
The Street Fest is just one part of the Proud Papakura Proud programme initiatives, a collaboration focused on building a safe, healthy, culturally diverse community in Papakura where we all trust and support each other. This partnership between the Papakura Local Board and Papakura Business Association is now in its 4th year and is still going strong. Through engaging with the broader Papakura community everyone is working together to make Papakura a great place to live, work and visit. The three outcomes of the programme are cultural identity, to create positive stories and to increase local employment.
Tikanga Talks were initiated to strengthen cultural identity and understanding across Papakura’s diverse community. Three successful talks have been held so far and a fourth one is in the pipeline for 2019.
Papakura’s youth are highly engaged in their local community including through the Papakura Youth Council. Young people can also explore and express their creativity at The Corner, in the heart of Papakura where a raft of activities take place at their very cool space in O’Shannessey Street. From knitting and dance groups to school holiday entertainment for the kids, a place for people to have their catch up and meetings. This space is also used by the Papakura Youth Council and Sustainable Papakura. The Corner have worked with the Business Association and young talented Artists from the area to put three outstanding murals in place in the town centre.
Increasing local employment focuses on helping young people to achieve their potential, particularly those who may have limited qualifications and little work experience. Organisations like the Skills Update Training Institute, MIT and People Potential offer NZQA courses that can lead to career paths in areas such as construction, hospitality, health, retail and computing. As well as making sure students have an up to date cv and work experience tutors use their industry contacts to help their students into jobs.
Papakura is a town that is going places. Under the Auckland Unitary Plan Papakura will not just be a community hub, but also a location targeted for strong business activity and growth. It is an increasingly attractive lifestyle choice with different housing options, good schooling, a modern retail environment and employment opportunities both to the North and South. All connected by the upgraded train and bus station.
Nine months ago, Papakura Business Association successfully expanded the area they look after (a Business Improvement District, or BID). Since the original BID programme was first established in 2011 there has been huge business growth in Papakura. Most of this growth has been outside the original BID boundary, set by Auckland Council. These new businesses have seen the value and support the Papakura Business Association offers to its members and were keen to be included. The successful expansion extended the BID area to include businesses in Pahurehure, Clevedon Rd, Prictor Street and Grove Road. The Papakura Business Association is thrilled to better help impact the economic development of Papakura through advocating for and supporting local businesses.
To recognise the increased membership, the Papakura Business Association refreshed its strategic plan in June 2018. At the Association’s AGM in October 2018, five new Executive Committee members were appointed to help guide the Association in implementation of the new plan. With great thanks, long standing Chair Neil O’Connor has stepped aside after three years, and Paula Schultz from Canopius Café is now at the helm. The new Executive Committee and strategic plan are available on the PBA website.
“We’d love to see you and your family at our Papakura StreetFest and share in Proud Papakura Proud” says Tracy. “If it rains, we’ll be holding it on Saturday 11th May instead.”