As Elected Members we are often asked what is Council doing to help business in Ōtaki? Council needs to do more, shops are closing etc. There’s no doubt its tough out there in business and Ōtaki is no different. We have many challenges with the Expressway, online shopping, Malls, other regions vying for the shopping dollar and increased costs including Councils! So what are we doing to best position Ōtaki for the future? The OCB and KCDC have been working on a number of things and I’ve summarized some of these below. A new webpage showcasing what Ōtaki has to offer.
$3.9 million on future proofing the Ōtaki pool including a $510k splash pad next to the pool.$300k to assist in revitalizing Ōtaki during the Expressway project.Recently opened scooter/bike track.A focus on fitness/walking tracks and exercise equipment.Working with the community on enhancing Ōtaki Beach. Free business advisor. Funding for Youth Employment program to assist youth.
A caring, dynamic and effective “Open for Business” culture at KCDC.Financial support for Ōtaki Promotions Group for Kite Festival etc.Maximizing the opportunities with the new cycleway from Ōtaki to Paekākāriki.Better signage and new entranceway treatments entering Ōtaki off the Expressway.Is that everything? Absolutely not however all these things in their own ways and on various levels go towards strengthening our local economy. Now many of us have probably read the signs that say “When you buy from a small business, you’re not helping a CEO buy a 3rd holiday home. You’re helping a little girl get dance lessons, a little boy get his team jersey, a mum & dad put food on the table. Thanks for shopping local.”
Or there’s the other that refers to that fact that if you spent $100 per year locally it contributes XYZ to the local economy…. But here’s the thing… we all smile at those signs or click “like” on that Facebook post but do we actually practice what we preach? Here’s my point… the thing is any council can only do so much, the rest is up to the business owner running their business well, keeping up with the times, providing good service etc but a BIG part of it is also YOU.
We often have these idealistic views around what businesses we should have in our great town but do YOU actually support them or are you often shopping out of town? We have some great businesses in Ōtaki and I’d encourage you to support them as often as you can. You play a huge part in the success of our local economy, the employment that results from that and what ultimately makes our town a great place to visit, live in and do life. I will continue to do my best for Ōtaki & Te Horo and the shoes I just bought will play a small part in that.
Hei konā rā — James Cootes