Big plans for Papamoa

By Natalie Dixon

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Papamoa Progressive Association chairman David Hill, who is also behind Papamoa Unlimited, says a marketing campaign to sell Papamoa is in the pipeline. Photo/John Borren.
Papamoa Progressive Association chairman David Hill, who is also behind Papamoa Unlimited, says a marketing campaign to sell Papamoa is in the pipeline. Photo/John Borren.

A group of Papamoa business leaders have revealed their plan to raise the booming beachside suburb's profile and turn it into a destination in its own right.

The Tauranga City Council today is expected to sign off on a targeted rates system in Papamoa, which would see a select group of 89 businesses and property owners pay an extra half a per cent on their rates each year.

The $25,000 raised annually would be used by a newly formed group, Papamoa Unlimited.

It wants to put the spotlight on the rapidly growing community.

Until now Papamoa has been in the shadow of the more established centres of Mount Maunganui and Tauranga.

The group plans to do this through a series of promotions and community events, from a Lantern Festival to a fun run and an annual Christmas parade.

Papamoa Progressive Association chairman David Hill, who is also behind Papamoa Unlimited, said other events and a slick marketing campaign designed to sell the once-sleepy beachside settlement would also be in the pipeline.

Papamoa Unlimited would run under the constitution of Papamoa Progressive Association.

"It is time Papamoa reached its full potential as the only place to live, work, play and holiday," Mr Hill said.

"In the past Papamoa has been very disjointed.

"There is so much here; great shopping, the beach, the markets, awesome sports facilities and free parking but the problem is everyone has been working separately and no one was really selling Papamoa as a destination.

"We have the support of local businesses now and that is all about to change."

Mr Hill said part of the money from the targeted rate would be used to employ a co-ordinator, who would work with local businesses and retailers to identify, co-ordinate and run a series of events.

Each event would be designed to attract as many people to the area as possible, he said.

"Papamoa is set to be the biggest village in Tauranga, it is growing fast.

"At the moment we have 22,000 people living here but there is no way 22,000 people are shopping locally or going to events because no one is marketing Papamoa as a village.

"By asking a group of retailers and businesses to pay an extra half a per cent on their rates, just an extra $53 for some, we are going to be able to pull it all together and showcase Papamoa properly. The opportunities are endless."

Papamoa Top 10 Holiday Resort general manager Rebecca Crosby said the group was compiling a list of events, with individual businesses set to sponsor each one to make them a success.

"We are all on board with this and we are determined to showcase Papamoa," she said.

Mr Hill said the group had the support of the council and already had a $10,000 sponsor for the inaugural Papamoa Christmas Parade, set for next year.

"We are planning on being self-governing, self-managing and self-sufficient. At the moment Tauranga is a bunch of very distinct villages, the Mount, Greerton, Bethlehem and so on.

"We are determined to show that Papamoa is the best of all of them, the only place to be. It's game on."

- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

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