There's plenty of activity in Turangi's central business district, with new shops and office spaces being built, along with facelifts to three retail outlets in the town mall.

The Turangi i-Site has undergone renovations to accommodate the former Volcanic Activity Centre which is due to re-open in the back section of the building in October.

Taupo District Council's Turangi offices are also in line for an upgrade. This will deal with asbestos and maintenance issues and provide a new base for up to 18 Department of Conservation staff in Turangi.

Site work is already under way to prepare for a new office block in Ohuanga Rd in the town centre after the sale and removal of Bayleys' former office building.


Turangi businessman Zane Cozens said the site had been levelled and foundations were being laid this week.

Bayleys will take office space in the new building. One of the remaining two spaces has already been leased.

Two new retail/shop spaces in the Taupahi Building that will front on to the southern carpark in the town centre are being developed by Turangi property owner and retailer Graham Whyman.

Mr Whyman, who has owned and operated Tongariro Sporting Life for 30 years, said he believed Turangi had a bright future.

He said the two new shops opened on to the carpark rather than the mall which meant they would have higher visibility.

"Hopefully it gets people walking into the mall."

Mr Whyman said work on the two new shop spaces got under way last July but building restrictions and council requirements have added to delays.

He is meeting Mayor David Trewavas this week to discuss some of the issues and show him carparking areas that could do with upgrading and landscaping.


"Turangi has been good to us and we are putting back what we feel we have got out of the town."

Upgrades to three other shops in the mall are almost complete.

Mr Cozens said the development going on in the town centre showed private enterprise had a big part to play in its future development.

"We hear that the economic strategy has some really good stuff that will be beneficial to the town. Our business community is focused and talking together about how to develop the town and things are already happening because of that."

Go Tongariro chairman Wayne Smith said figures indicated spending in the Turangi area had increased in the past year.

"Things are a lot more positive than they have been for a long time, and businesses that are positive and progressive are doing well."

The 65-page draft economic strategy is due to be finalised and released to stakeholders, Turangi-Tongariro Community Board and Taupo District Council in mid-August.

Mr Smith said while it was not expected to give all the answers the document will look at the area's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.

"It is a strategy document and while it won't give all the answers it provides a pathway that will identify what needs to be addressed," he said.

That will include determining future infrastructure to support development so that funding can be included in the council's 10-year-plan being reviewed this year.