Otematata and Ōmārama Residents Share their Vision for the Future

8/10/2019 12:00 a.m.

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The people have spoken! After two successful community workshops and gathering online feedback, Waitaki District council is grateful to all that gave their input on the masterplan options for Otematata and Ōmārama. We’ve had some great discussions too and now have some clear direction from the community as to how they want to see these growing towns develop in the future.


Over 75 people came along to the community workshop and we received 43 written submissions which is a wonderful result. We’re currently working through the feedback to help develop a preferred masterplan option. This will be presented to the Ahuriri Community Board in December 2019.

When it came to housing in Otematata, Waitaki Drive East and Loch Laird Road sites were favoured for future development (Loch Laird site was favoured for mixed use development.) Residents felt there was a need for larger section sizes to keep boats, trailers etc.​ off the road. They wanted to provide some limited areas for higher density housing, but keep to a maximum of two storeys and ensure character of the town is retained. Concerns were raised that housing will only be used for visitor accommodation and not provide for an increased resident population.

On the topic of Landscape/streetscape, there was strong support for gateway landscaping on approaches to town and more careful landscaping that selected plants that are suitable to Otematata’s climate/conditions. Residents were in favour of a celebration of Hydro-history with information and even sculpture on the main road. The proposal to organise placement of old dam building machinery (possibly from Twizel) had good support too.

What the people want, in a nutshell:

  • Adventure playground.
  • A2O kiosk at the intersection of West Road and SH83 (in front of community centre).
  • Establish a hydro-dam sculpture at the intersection of SH83 and Loch Laird Road.
  • Establishment of community gardens.
  • Small business area with shared resources.
  • Additional commercial light industrial land along River Terrace.

Over 50 people came to the community workshop and we received 9 written submissions.

Transport was the biggie here with there being an urgent need for improvements to SH8/83 intersection – in the form of a mountable roundabout or traffic lights. Traffic calming was needed – possibly in the form of roundabouts at Airport Road and Pinot Noir Court intersections to slow the flow. Reduced speed limits need to be extended out from the town.

A truck parking area at saleyards with truck access encouraged along Prohibition Road instead of through town centre would make the town safer and more enjoyable for residents as well as better provision for bus, campervan and truck parking and turning.

What the people want:

  • Sustainable and eco-friendly housing for the elderly, first time buyers and seasonal workers.
  • Improvements to intersection of State Highways 8 and 83.
  • Mixed use development along SH8.
  • New retail hub on ex Rabbit Board land along SH83.
  • Activity/adventure zone on land behind the community centre.

Mayor for Waitaki, Gary Kircher said, “The engagement and feedback from the communities of both townships has been tremendous, and I am confident that we will come up with draft masterplans that capture the essence of what people want. There’s often a challenge to balance the range of views on any given aspect of a plan though, so we look forward to sharing the results publically. I want to take this opportunity to say thanks all those who took the time to attend the public workshops and to make submissions. It has been very valued by Council.” ​​


Page reviewed: 08 Oct 2019 2:56pm