New Orewa chair sets priorities

Recently-elected Destination Orewa Beach chair Kim Lyons.

Getting a decision, one way or the other, on the installation of security cameras in the Orewa Town Centre is a priority for the new chair of Destination Orewa Beach (DOB), Kim Lyons.

Despite surveying members last year on a proposal to set-up 18 cameras to cover the town centre, at an initial ‘ballpark’ cost of around $36,000, DOB has yet to make a decision.

“The cost would be shared by building owners in the BID area and would not be significant, given the job that the cameras would do,” Kim says. “I believe it should be done – it’s no good waiting for an incident to happen. We need to reach a conclusion on this.”

Kim and his wife Fiona moved to Orewa from the North Shore nearly six years ago. They own the mortgage broking business First Rate Mortgages and have embraced the outdoor life on the Coast.

“Our beach and parks are our greatest assets,” Kim says. “It is very hard to compete with the big brand retail that is being centralised at Silverdale, but we are well-placed to cater for niche businesses, and to develop as a hospitality hub with great restaurants, bars and cafes.”

A summary of retail spending in Orewa in the 2016/17 financial year shows that nearly 40 per cent of custom in Orewa comes from local residents.

Additionally, more than half of customers fall into the financially secure ‘mum and dad’ bracket, with 23 percent being financially secure retirees. DOB’s newsletter Street Talk says this changing demographic is a baby step towards changing the perception that Orewa is “full of old people”.

Kim says events held along the waterfront are likely to appeal to the family demographic.

“I know myself how much I enjoy things like the Buskers Festival and the markets. I’d like to see our events programme expand if we can. In turn, this will encourage people from outside the region to ‘discover’ Orewa.”

While vacancy levels in the retail sector have remained steady over the past 12 months, there has been a nine per cent drop in office vacancies.

“There are some exciting things happing along the boulevard and I am looking forward to the Orewa Surf Club upgrade. The more we can do to make the waterfront a place to meet and socialise, the better, but there is no doubt that a lot of premises are looking tired and there is a need for more commercial premises.

“Orewa has a neat vibe and I think there is plenty of potential to build on that.”

Returning DOB board members elected at the annul meeting were: Kim Lyons (chair), Richard Worker (deputy chair – North Harbour Law), Jonathan Rigg, Barbara Everiss (Flowers By Joanne), Eric Blake (Nautilus Apartments) and Paul Murphy (Shafer Design). New members elected: Jo Robertson (The Grove Retirement Village), Leanne Little (Forrest Funeral Services), Vaughan Reed (Labyrinth Solutions) and Angela Baird (ANZ Bank). Local Board representative, Vicki Watson.


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