Putaruru Moving Forward

This is the official information release page for PUTARURU MOVING FORWARD.

In the build up to this, the tag was Putaruru Looking Forward/Enhancing Putaruru.

Click this link to access all previous material. 






This was the progress report given at the Business Awards night in Putaruru.




For all the latest news about the DRAFT PUTARURU GROWTH AREA OPTIONS go to our on-line Prattler. This information is updated on a day to day basis.

Use this link: the on-line Prattler



We are near a halfway point in decorating shops and other parts of town. The Tidy up Team continues to do a great job and Van Dyks looks very smart.

The council is underway with the library and council building upgrade. There is scaffolding all around the building and all will be revealed shortly. New shops are opening and Putaruru continues to take steps towards a positive future.

Our meetings are planned for May and thus we will report on the daily electronic edition.

Discussions with council continue to represent a shared vision and discussions with them in early May will also be electronically reported and then appear in the next Prattler.

Elsewhere you will see notices on the Rural Bachelors night, June 15 at the Plaza. 8 Bachelors from the National Field Days at Mystery Creek will join us for the evening and compete in a series of activities. Local Young Farmers will also be involved and several local “bachelorettes” will be part of the show. This is not a dinner show but food will be available for purchase, as will alcohol and other drinks. Watch the posters around town and the Prattler for more details.


After a good Christmas break PMF meetings are getting underway. Unfortunately our main meeting is just after the Prattler goes to print. You will be able to read updates on the Prattler website. We are looking forward to hearing from Frances Pauwels, and Mark Smith, (urban growth consultants), on their work and further developments supporting planning and progress.

Our tidy up team are underway again and you will shortly see more evidence of their work, both on Tirau Street and Princes Street. Some shops are requiring extensive renovation and owners and lessees will address that. We will continue to help with painting and signs.

Shop owners get excited when the team walks in the door and it’s great to see most working with us to give our town a much tidier image. The council continues to support this with some funding and they are looking at our colour palette to choose colours to upgrade the library and offices. On the inside, Ebony Curtins is the new Putaruru Service Centre Manager who will also meet with us this week.

We continue to work with several potential new businesses and know that at least one is opening shortly. We are still working to develop a quality food/artisan theme in our town and want to source local produce and ingredients to support existing businesses Over the Moon and Moos Baas and Oinks.

Transform Aotearoa continue to take care of our pots, they are generally doing well and we get lots of good comments about the plants. Sadly we have just had another small tree topped. Hopefully it will come away again.

We also look forward to hearing progress reports on the Putaruru Ultrafast Broadband installation over the next few months.







(A major announcement.)

Putaruru Moving Forward (PMF) is a group of local business and community people who are working alongside Pride in Putaruru to develop a vision for how we would like to see Putaruru develop over the next 30 years.

The group is working on a draft Putaruru Concept Plan and we want input from our community. We would really like people to tell us what they think is great about Putaruru and what they think can be done to improve this town now and in the future?

All responses will be appreciated and we will meet shortly after the closing date to summarise the comments and then proceed with future planning and the development of the concept plan. The survey starts on the next page. Copies are also available at the PIP office, Crazy Cow, Hammer Hardware and on the PiP website: prideinputaruru.com and the PiP Facebook page.

It is being sent to schools, churches and community groups, It can also be completed online at Survey Monkey. (This survey is now closed.)

The key components of our draft concept plan to date are to create: 

1. A local retail hub surrounded by a diverse and progressive rural community which is great to live in. This can be defined by:

• Being a great place for families to live – families choosing to live in Putaruru because it is friendly, safe and has a strong community.

• Putaruru being a great place to retire, a safe place for retirees that caters to different levels of retirement living, with appropriate health and social services.

• Vibrant shopping for locals – a great looking mix of shops, which caters for most of the needs of the community.

2. The best regional rural/commercial service town – rural and commercial businesses that support the region defined by:

• Being responsive to the needs of our surrounding areas.

• Having maintenance services readily available.

• Having local resources valued and marketed.

3. A great place to stop, visit and stay – Putaruru leverages off existing attractions such as Te Waihou, Waikato River Trails, it’s agricultural community and shops to become a visitor destination whose definition means that:

• It has quality accommodation, back packers and camping facilities.

• Trips to our natural surrounding attractions mean stopping in Putaruru.

• SH1 traffic know they are coming into a town that is a destination.

After nearly a year of exploring ideas, consulting, planning and long but inspiring meetings, Putaruru Moving Forward are ready to move forward.

In addition to the draft concept plan other areas where discussions continue are:

• New businesses: the last year has seen a few changes, with new shops opening, expanding or moving, new buildings and sadly some businesses closing. Currently we have 4 potential new businesses that are looking at setting up in Putaruru. We have needed to bring in professional Business advisors and consultants to assist us with future developments.

• Upgrade of existing shops: Kaz Designs have worked with us on colour palettes and designs for some of our shops. A photo of one of these is on this page and work on this shop will begin in the next 2 or 3 weeks.

Original Shop

Possible ShopOther businesses are enthusiastically supporting the proposed designs and some have started with designs of their own. We are able to make a small financial contribution towards signage and have volunteers keen to get started with cleaning and painting.

Transform Aotearoa have offered to take responsibility for maintaining our mosaic pots on Main Street and we are also ready to get started on cleaning and painting the seats around our town.

• Two other key areas we are working on are our infrastructure, including residential housing availability and our business focus and branding for our town.

The Putaruru Moving Forward group is a committed and focused group of local people who bring a wide range of skills to the table, not the least is a huge amount of enthusiasm. A council rep and council staff offer experience as well as their enthusiasm, and their contribution is invaluable.

Members include: Stu Edmeades, Gordon Blake, Phil White, Sue Arthur, Richard Heslop, Daniel Van Dyk. Raewyn Whiteman-Thorne, a rep from Nicholsons Surveying, Jenny Shattock and council staff Ben Smit, Sam Marshall and Tanya Wood.

We all agree it’s a privilege to be involved in a great team working on an exciting project and are ready to act on the survey results.

We welcome your participation in this community survey. (The survey is now closed but the details have been left on this page for your reference.)

Images of the survey appear below, but to DOWNLOAD a copy, click on this image.

Survey Form PMF









Image only versions of the survey (but clicking on them will open the full pdf version.)

PiP Survey Page 1






PiP Survey Page 2



The steering committee has been working hard with community groups and council staff to keep this project on track. We continue to focus on our 3 precincts and the development of a business focus for the town.

Over the last few months we have met with the Buttermilk group, Tony Jacques from the Timber Museum, Pride in Putaruru and some members of Transform Aotearoa, all of whom are part of our future development plans.

We have added Tim Bailey from Nicholson Surveying to our group and are contracting a firm to work with us on future plans, branding and a marketing proposition.

We appreciate any ideas or feedback you may want to make and our aim is to have a draft proposal to present to the community in the next three months.


The Putaruru Moving Forward steering group continue to meet and consider options for the three precincts that have been identified as individual areas essential for developing the overall picture of establishing what Putaruru is as a small town now,  what it could become in the near future and also think ahead 25 years or more.

While we want to make visible progress this year, (and we will be), we know it is important not to rush this process and are looking at previous research data and other moves towards development within the town to give us a sound background. We are very aware that we have a great opportunity before us and are taking the responsibility of beginning to develop plans for our town seriously.

We are keen to hear from members of our business and residential communities and you are welcome to contact the steering committee members at any time with questions and ideas.

We will be hosting meetings in the near future to present our findings and to hear more community ideas and feedback. Several people have asked about the significance of the blue drops. They are just a way of presenting our

included in the concept plan, including suggestions to enhance the appearance of Putaruru, suggestions for the use of the former railway building and also what could be done to improve traffic and parking.

These are all very much supportive of our overall vision and will form part of the development of our town. Thanks to those of you who ask about progress, give feedback and contribute ideas.



This the documentation from the SWDC Draft Annual Plan that outlines the Putaruru Moving Forward development.

SWDC Putaruru Concept Plan A

SWDC Putaruru Concept Plan B


The Putaruru Moving Forward steering group continues to meet 3 weekly and is exploring each of the 3 Precinct areas highlighted in the map in the last Prattler – see HERE

These areas were then represented by water drops and we have made good progress as we looked closely at the industrial Precinct 2 and this week will be developing ideas around Precinct 3, the retail drop. Our next meeting will take a good look at the visitor drop, Precinct 1. Each meeting creates lots of purposeful discussion and debate as we aim to develop a clear picture to present to our community.

We are looking closely at future signage and branding and developing a coordinated approach to enhance and promote our town. Council support is appreciated and we are fortunate to have the services of a university student to help us look at past recommendations and their relevance to our planning.

Once this is complete, we are going to ask for community ideas and input.  Over the next two/three months there will be opportunities for you to be part of a working group for each Precinct, to work alongside us on the progression of ideas and the coordinated development of our town. Again please contact us if you would like to be part of these groups. Thank you to those who have already expressed an interest – we will be in touch with you.

Members of the steering group are: Sue Arthur, Gordon Blake, Steve Ensor, Stu Edmeades, Richard Heslop, Daniel Van Dyk, Phil White and Raewyn Whiteman-Thorne.

We would appreciate any ideas, even at this stage so please get in touch with any one of us if you wish to discuss the Putaruru Moving Forward concept.



Putaruru Concept Plan January 2016



The Putaruru Moving Forward Steering Group have had two meetings over November 2015 discussing possibilities for the future of our town. The members have a wealth of business and small town experience together with enthusiasm and a desire to use an open process of consultation with our community. They aim to produce a working document outlining plans for Putaruru’s progress over the next 20 plus years and appreciate the South Waikato District Council support in this.

Key tasks currently being discussed are:

• identifying possible precincts for shopping, industrial, parking and tourist areas

• progressing ideas to the SWDC annual plan process in March/April next year

• having short term plans, (approximately 6 months), then 1 year, 5 years and so on

employing a graduate student, or experienced planning person, to write a draft plan, with Council support, before mid February 2016

The underlying concept of our development is focused on becoming New Zealand’s water town, (in a way we are already on that journey), and this includes drinking water, our rivers and walkways, the recreational use of water and an interactive feature in our town, as well as water being a base for future signage.

In late January we will be asking for interested people, (thanks to those that have already offered), to help us create a “spruce up Putaruru” plan to tidy our town and to keep it well maintained. Near the middle of March we will host a breakfast to update those interested on progress and to obtain community feedback. Any ideas and offers of help can be shared on the Pride in Putaruru website, Facebook page, or by contacting us at the Pride in Putaruru office.

Steering group members are:

Sue Arthur     Gordon Blake     Stu Edmeades     Steve Ensor     Richard Heslop

Daniel Van Dyk     Phil White     Raewyn Whiteman-Thorne

Ben Smit (South Waikato District Council representative)     Lee Robertson (Secretary)



This project was officially announced at the Pride in Putaruru Business Awards, October 2015.

Video of this announcement:

Putaruru Moving Forward Video

The October Prattler, 2015, introduced Putaruru Moving Forward in this way:

As part of the council Long Term Plan we have been given a challenge to look at the future of Putaruru. For 18 months, Pride in Putaruru and other interested community people have been fortunate to work with Auckland Group, Visitor Solutions and Council staff to explore ideas and options for developing and progressing a concept plan for our town. Council have provided staff support and some initial funding.

The current situation is:

Putaruru Looking Forward will be led by a steering committee with 8 members representing our community. Their role will be to oversee development, explore ideas and financial options and work with council. They will support 2 precinct groups, Tirau Street being one and Princes Street the other, which will progress development of these two sections of our town and the adjoining Main Street. The appointment of people to these groups will be announced before Christmas.

Terms of reference for this development include:

  • signage
  • water park revamp, which is already in council plan
  •  targeting new business development
  • coordinated upgrade of town and buildings
  • development of our community and our businesses

Visitor Solutions are a National company and see us as a very positive service town. They grabbed hold of possibilities that we see for Putaruru, our uniqueness, our centrality, our main highway and most significantly our water and its links to tourism through the Te Waihou Walkway and our river trails. They also commented on the high quality of service and product in many of our businesses.

Pride in Putaruru are unable to drive this alone, nor can Council, but together with community, individuals and groups, we can move forward, benefiting from the experience of many who are passionate about the history and future of Putaruru.

We are mindful of a few things: First, can we be a great local town with facilities and services that encourage both our country and town people and our passing traffic to stop, to shop and to experience what we are creating? To be effective we have to serve our locals, to have destination businesses and in doing so, develop a town that encourages tourists to stop.

Water is a key focus – as is signage at Te Waihou promoting businesses in Putaruru. A downturn in the dairy industry and forestry has made it apparent that we must work together to support each other through the highs and lows.

Many of us as business owners have struggled through the challenges of business over the years. This opportunity cannot be just a dream in a bubble that may burst, it has to be a vision with a purpose and a plan.

Where to now? The steering committee meet later this month. Information and progress will be made available through the Prattler, PIP TV Channel and our website, as well as on our noticeboard, and to community groups. We are looking at ways of getting community ideas and seek your help and support through a cooperative approach to progress. Contact us – we would love to have you involved in any way you can.

In our build up we have been Putaruru Looking Forward. From tonight we become Putaruru Moving Forward.

The tag previously was Putaruru Looking Forward/Enhancing Putaruru

Click this link to access all previous material.