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Saturday
Nov292014

Kopu On The Way

At last the business opportunities that have been opened by the new bridge are coming to fruition after a period when the local business people there seemed to be stuck in the headlights, and unaware of the goldmine opportunity that had been opened for them.

Lockwood, Hunting & Fishing and a number of others have moved to positions where they can take advantage of the amazing exposure that opened with the Bridge. Peter Schuler now has signs up announcing a new service centre at the back of his existing business and adjacent to Placemakers. It is not known at this stage which oil company may be interested, but BP or Zed seem most likely - it is quite a large site. It is an opportunity to provide a 24 hour full service operation that is long overdue for Auckland - East Coast travellers who have previously been consistently ripped off by small scale operators along the road, and in Thames. 

The previous proposed service centre just west of the Bridge in Hauraki appears to have died with planning and zoning difficulties - at least there has not been a beep out of its proposers for some time. 

But by far the biggest news is that Countdown are said to have done a deal to take over the LinFox (ex. Provincial Transport) site to at last build a sizable supermarket to compete with Pak 'n Save in Thames, and service the same travellers who have previously searched for petrol and food on their way to the Coast - what an opportunity. If LinFox are on the way out, there will a loss of a considerable number of relatively highly paid jobs - that is bad, but probably inevitable given the nature of their business. It is a huge site - probably the attraction for Countdown, but the mystery is why it has taken so long. It does possibly explain the determination of Peter Schuler and others to get Transport NZ to agree to put in the back road from the Roundabout.

The effect on Kopu in general will be dramatic, and Thames will benefit. It is a pity that the Council continues to fluff around on making a decision on the long proposed District Gateway 'I' Site Project close to the Roundabout. That would really make things hum, though it would reduce the status of the Thames 'I' Site - something that those associated with it have resisted for years. The latter's imminent move to the Civic Centre should ensure its long term viability, if simply as a Thames facility. 

If only some effort had been put into maximising the benefit of the Bridge and Roundabout as envisaged some years ago instead of the concentration on expensive and futile developments that constitute the Mayors ego driven legacy projects, then the District would be in far better shape than it is. It will be interesting to watch just what happens from now on at Kopu - hopefully it will be ready to absorb the new interest.

 

 

 

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Reader Comments (5)

Long overdue Bill-- if all or some of these projects come to fruition then good times are ahead for Kopu-- the long forgotten cousin of Thames.
Many years ago a proposal was put into place for Kopu but the current Council has , as usual, focused on the Eastern seaboard.
The concept of a large i-centre in Kopu has been mooted for years-but meets resistance from the current i- centre-- but it is logical to build a information centre including Coromandel Destination/ DOC, then, and only then, will Thames and the Peninsula move forward. Tourists now seek information for places other than Thames from our local i-centre then move on-- a building at Kopu would capture such travellers and direct them to Thames. The Board/ Council must move quickly to take advantage of the proposed service centre and be ready to capitalise on the private developement with a public/private venture with Schuler - it will take gonads--lets see if the elected members have any!!
For us in the business of travellers accommodation it makes perfect sense- the Peninsula promoted to the travelling public in a bright,open plan building housing the three major players on the tourism front-- a win win situation for everyone. Thames could at last become a 'destination' rather than the gateway town to the Peninsula and my units will provide a cosy respite for tired travellers!!

Whoa --not so sure about Countdown out of town-- this may fragment the CBD.
Understand some Thames people already shop at Countdown Paeroa so this may bring them back into the fold.
Believe the jury is still out about the Whitianga operation - summer will be the make or break of that store.
Shame a Countdown could not have been built on the 'old Placemakers ' site in Thames - but for me our local Pak'n'Save will always be a winner-- the owner puts alot back into the Community with many clubs and organisations reaping the benifit of Bill's generosity.

November 29, 2014 | Unregistered Commentercrackers

Hey - competition never hurt anyone - I have been waiting five years for Bill to restock Arnotts Scotch Fingers - they arrived a week ago, so I guess he must have heard about Countdown. As for Whitianga, well there are some good ole boy investors over there who are well and truely overdue for a fall - I won't lose any sleep!

November 29, 2014 | Registered CommenterBill Barclay

And by the way Crackers - Countdown were as near as dammit five years ago to completing negotiations for the Ngati Maru site from the wharf back to the Railway Shed. Bill would have been well aware of their ambitions to move in here for at least that that length of time, and planned accordingly. Just because the Ngati Maru deal fell through was never going to stop them, and I guess the LinFox opportunity was just too good to pass by. And though Bill may well have been good for the town, the town has been equally good for Bill if I am not mistaken - no offense intended!

Thames will survive, and it is time anyway in my view that Thames-Kopu was thought of as contiguous. If only we could get the Totara development moving, it would effectively bridge the gap - there is more than adequate capacity - it just needs our dammed Council to re-direct its energies away from all those glamourous East Coast projects that have it in thrall!

November 29, 2014 | Registered CommenterBill Barclay

As usual you are probably right Bill
One thing is, if Countdown do proceed, as you have intimated, then with out a shadow of a doubt they will bring in their system of internet sales- home deliveries- as they have done in Whitianga/Paeroa and elsewhere ---so nobody will need to travel out to Kopu to buy groceries!.
Still my money [for what it is worth] is on my mate Bill at Pak'n'Save [love their simple stickman ads. ] It is a shame though that Countdown are not in Placemakers old yard- would have kept Thames nice and compact.

November 30, 2014 | Unregistered Commentercrackers

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