The Isaacs family have lived on Te Arahori St in Turangi for generations. It's quiet and safe and a great place to bring up children.

But the proposed development of a petrol station and fast food restaurant on the end of the street at the intersection with State Highway 1 could be the end of their serenity.

"It will ruin the street," Sheena Isaacs says. "With the kids - the kids play - we don't even have a fence. The kids just play freely but now we're going to have to put a fence up and we're pretty worried.

"The kids are everything in this town and everyone is really family-orientated, and especially for this street, there are quite a lot of kids on this street, but yeah it will be dangerous."

Advertisement

Rotorua developers, Holmes Group are proposing the 2.8ha development. Project lead Ryan Holmes insists it will be good news for the town.

"It makes sense commercially to have an offering on this side of the road, so a positive for Turangi is - if you're going to stop the traffic stop them here, get people to spend their money in Turangi," Holmes said.

"It's going to create employment, it's going to put four million bucks a year back into the community and if you go for a walk through this town you will realise that is a very, very positive thing.

"So from our point of view, we can't see any negatives. As far as some of the opposition is, they don't want it on their side of the street and that's all it comes down to really," he says.

But just as the State Highway divides the town in two - so too has the proposed multimillion dollar development.

"I think it will be good if it provides mahi and work for the local people," Te Arahori St resident Varian Wi says, "but other than that it will draw people out of the town and stop people stopping in the town centre itself, and the small time businesses will lose out,"

Another concerned Te Arahori Street resident, Wilhelmina Salvador said the town doesn't need another fast food restaurant.

"It doesn't need another petrol station. I want more for our town than pumping petrol on minimum wage. I think more of our whānau."

On Tuesday evening, the community met at a meeting hosted by Holmes Group to hear experts explain the potential economic benefits.

"There will be about $1.8 million spend contribution to the local community and that in itself will generate about 43 jobs or 43 full-time equivalent job," economist Philip Osborne told the community meeting.

"In an area which I think has just over 9 per cent unemployment, I think they are pretty critical jobs."

Those benefits were questioned by locals who have started a petition.

"That money isn't going to come back in to Turangi," said local resident, Heather MacDonald.

"Not only that. The benefit from people coming into town the way, they do at the moment, is going to be lost. Therefore jobs are going to be lost, businesses are going to close."

The developers hope to lodge consent before Christmas - but those opposed say they'll continue to fight to protect their patch of paradise.

Made with funding from