Work on the Eketahuna town upgrade is well underway and already attracting interest and positive feedback from locals and visitors alike.
The project is driven by the Eketahuna Community Board, who developed a vision of what people wanted for their town.
The vision is to provide an attractive, relaxing, and peaceful town that locals can enjoy and be proud of, as well as making it a place passers-by will want to stop and visit.
Work is already underway on the upgrading of footpaths and kerbs on the Four Square side of the main street, and new entry signs have been fabricated for the northern and southern ends of the town, with the southern sign now already in place.
Eketahuna Community Board members explained the new metal signs, which are shaped as Kiwis, represent the Kiwi theme that they are trying to enhance on in a variety of ways.
"The branding for the town is 'Real Kiwi Country'; this represents the real values of the people of Eketahuna. It's a town of "real" down to earth people of the land. It's all about that Kiwi can do and get on with it attitude. It's about our Kiwi spirit, our community spirit, and country - surrounded by green."
"The giant Kiwis attract attention and let you know you are entering 'Eketahuna Real Kiwi Country' and a town worthy of a visit."
The Community Board has already received great feedback on the signs, and when the native plantings are added around them and the up-lighting is in place and operating at night, they will really look impressive.
Work has begun on preparing the Chorus building site, which will eventually be the new home of the iconic Eketahuna Kiwi, which was moved from its former spot for safety reasons. With people stopping to take photos as they passed through town, it soon became apparent this could one day result in an accident. In its new site, lit up by new street lighting it will be an attraction that can be viewed in safety.
Eketahuna Community Board member and Project Liaison Sharon Shannon, says the community is excited with the upgrade.
"House sales have gone up, and we are getting more shops opening in town. This whole upgrade has started attracting more visitors; we even have one group of women who come down regularly now from Hawke's Bay just to shop here."
"The objectives of the upgrade are to achieve town pride, by giving it an attractive appearance that reflects Eketahuna's identity and history."
:We want to promote the town and attract visitors, which we are doing. Whenever an idea gets off track we refer back to: does it fit with our vision and objectives, and the Upgrade Committee feels that this has been beneficial to the process."
With the upgrade progressing well, regular project updates can be found in the Eketahuna Service Centre/Library window and through the Eketahuna Town Centre Upgrade Facebook page.