A push to have more retail outlets in Hikurangi is already paying off and the business community is looking at ways to entice tourists to spend their dollars in the town.

At the forefront of that effort is Hikurangi Four Square owner Avi Lal, who is planning to expand his 18-year old business next year to add on to what he's currently offering.

That includes general grocery, postal services, Lotto, and having prescription medicine picked up from his supermarket.

Figures released by OneRoof shows Hikurangi is the fastest growing suburb in Northland in terms of house sales and Lal said the future for the town looked bright.

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Avi Lal of Hikurangi Four Square is among businessmen pushing for more tourists to frequent the small town. Photo/Tania Whyte
Avi Lal of Hikurangi Four Square is among businessmen pushing for more tourists to frequent the small town. Photo/Tania Whyte

"The Hikurangi Business Association of which I am a part of has been pushing for more businesses like cafes to set up here and we've been getting good results. Now we're pushing for more tourists.

"Locals here support local businesses and we have people coming from places like Whananaki, Ngunguru, Kauri, and Kamo come here to shop."

Swanie Hemara was born and brought up in Hikurangi and after spending many decades overseas and elsewhere around New Zealand, she returned home in 2007.

"When I left, this place was up and running and had banks, service stations, bakeries but since the state highway was made and Hikurangi was bypassed, things started slowing down here but it's starting to get better.

"Aucklanders are snapping up houses as well as those returning home. This place was pumping and we can get it pumping again. It's a close-knit community and that's something that will keep this place going," she said.

Nitish Mahendru of Hikurangi Hotel serves local Swanie Hemara who returned home after many decades living elsewhere. Photo/Tania Whyte
Nitish Mahendru of Hikurangi Hotel serves local Swanie Hemara who returned home after many decades living elsewhere. Photo/Tania Whyte

Hemara's brothers played rugby for Hikurangi and their framed photos still hang on the walls of the Hikurangi Hotel.

Nitish Mahendru moved from South Auckland to manage the hotel four months ago and said locals treated him as a member of their own family.

"A lot of farmers come here and enjoy a drink or two. We have a pool competition on Wednesdays and karaoke on Fridays, plus we have Sky so a lot of people come to watch rugby."

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Hikurangi-Coastal ward Councillor Greg Martin said the town offered pretty much everything people needed.

"People have realised the gem that Hikurangi has always been. There are a lot of young people who can afford to buy a house and work from home."

What was required, he said, was housing development likes those seen in Whangārei Heads, Bream Bay and other high-density areas.