Greymouth CBD Redevelopment Plan was to build on a previous plan, getting down to specifics on improving the local economy, finding a core of the CBD, and bringing an overall vision and method of implementation to achieve sustainable outcomes. Unique elements for this project included that the township has a large number of historic buildings which are both an asset and a liability owing to the run-down state of them. Adding to the complexity, many are on leasehold land and owned by a corporation. Some business owners saw little incentive in investing in their business or in their building.
A declined economy put anyone with commercial interests in the CBD in a holding position. The township therefore had become derelict to a degree. The council had commissioned and implemented some significant public space upgrades such as establishing a town square, improved lighting and the township itself is kept clean and free from graffiti. The assets of Greymouth/Mawhera in our view too, outweighed the negatives. Convincing local businesspeople was one of the tasks needed.
Tourism is a major industry on the west coast however the decrepit state of commercial property, with some buildings empty and a real lack of trees and green areas, resulted in the CBD not being attractive enough to hold visitors despite the Trans-Alpine express from Christchurch bringing visitors. The assets are in Greymouth, including significant historic stories, these needed bringing to life.
This project was to take past work to another level. Key elements were to 1/ Establish collaboration and agreement to progress the township with iwi and the Maori corporation who owns much of the leasehold land in the CBD 2/ identify the town core; Engage the business sector towards establishing a stronger business association which would take a leadership role for the businesses and collaborate with council on opportunities and typically difficult issues such as car parking.
A copy of this plan is here: