A lack of parking has been identified as the major issue facing local business districts who are concerned that the problem can only get worse as the area grows.
Wellsford Promotions Association president Stef Railey says car parking spaces were taken when the Gull station was built and now Auckland Council is selling the carpark in Harrison Street.
One Warkworth Business Association manager Murray Chapman says people raise the issue of parking with him about three times a week.
“There is no simple answer, but we probably need another floor on the Baxter Street carpark,” Murray says.
“Construction vehicles parking in Queen Street add to the problem, but we do all manage to park on the Big Day Out at the Kowhai Festival when the whole of Queen Street is closed.”
Mangawhai Business Development Association chair Richard Gunson says the association has developed a town plan with Kaipara District Council, which includes more cycle connectivity to get people out of their cars and put less strain on road infrastructure.
“It certainly is an issue that will affect the income of local businesses if we don’t deal with it now,” Richard says.
Another issue for businesses is competing with large franchise stores.
“Big box retail kills small enterprises and our main street would die if they came to Wellsford,” Stef says.
Murray agrees that care needs to be taken not to ruin the feel of a township that attracts visitors.
Richard believes large outlets will not approach Mangawhai in the near future and hopes when they do they can co-exist with the existing businesses.