Silverdale Village is a name that has been in common usage for years, but it has now been deleted from all local signs.
It has been replaced with Silverdale Centre – the name of the retail block opposite Stella Maris.
The area of Silverdale Street between Hibiscus Coast Highway and Wainui Road is the established retail heart of Silverdale – lined with shops, cafés and other small businesses as well as the historic Pioneer Village. It was known as Silverdale town centre, or ‘the village’ among locals, but the name Silverdale Village came into being officially when the nearby Silverdale Centre opened late in 2012.
At that time, the Silverdale Area Business Association wanted to differentiate itself from the new retail centre and adopted ‘Silverdale Village’ because it recognised the town’s history and character. Lorraine Sampson, who was on the association at the time, says they obtained the nod of approval of the local board for the name change.
Traffic signs pointing into Silverdale Street had ‘Silverdale Village’ on them until a few weeks ago, when Auckland Transport (AT) altered four signs, replacing ‘village’ with ‘centre’.
There is some confusion around who instigated the name change. AT spokesperson James Ireland says agreement was reached about the wording with the business association and the Hibiscus and Bays Local Board.
Silverdale Area Business Association president Phil Bennett says the association is happy with the Silverdale Centre signs as they bring potential customers through the village en route. He says businesses in the village are suffering as more and more retail blocks are built in the surrounding area.
However, the move has incensed some village retailers, who were not consulted. Several say they promote themselves as being located ‘in the village’ but now there are no signs showing where the village is.
Raw Essentials manager Debbie Chaffey says the change is confusing for customers. She wants a sign erected that clearly identifies the village and says she doesn’t think traffic passing through to get to Silverdale Centre will bring her any more customers. Emma Jean Framing Gallery owner Emma Morgan and Happy Kiwi Café owner Maria Fuimaono agree, saying that the village has its own distinct feel, separate from Silverdale Centre.
“I don’t have a problem with Silverdale Centre – that type of development is needed,” Maria says. “But that’s not us.”
The changes to the signs are still underway – the one at the highway intersection, pointing directly into the village, was crudely done by scraping off the word ‘village’, and a new sign is being made to replace it. Like the other new signs, it will say Silverdale Centre.