Over the past decade the Takapuna Beach Business Association has forged ahead with strong and passionate management, starting when well-known North Shore identity Peter White took the reigns for a stretch of seven years. He was succeeded by Terry Holt, who shared Peter’s passion for Takapuna and brought some added marketing expertise to the role. Another well-known Takapuna business person Terence Harpur – ex-operations manager at Auckland Live/Bruce Mason Centre – stepped into the role when Terry Holt moved on after three years in late 2017. Backed by a strong board, Terence is using his belief that Takapuna is a “crown jewel of Auckland" to help navigate the business area through a period of change and grow the ‘I Love Takapuna’ brand that these leaders have introduced and fostered. After 12 months in the TBBA’s CEO role, Channel Magazine's Aidan Bennett sat down with Terence Harpur in early February to discover why he’s fizzing about Takapuna.
First of all, as I regularly do, I need to fully declare my total bias for Takapuna – as a resident and advocate. One of the reasons we started this magazine almost 100 monthly issues ago, was based around our desire to ensure positive messages were conveyed about our fantastic North Shore businesses and business districts. We were thrilled that the Takapuna Beach Business Association shared this desire and embraced our magazine from day one and has continued to do so for almost a decade. It is pleasing that Takapuna Beach, and all of our other local business associations (or BIDS – 'business improvement districts' as they are technically known) are being well led. Takapuna Beach is indeed lucky to have a young, strong and articulate leader in Terence Harpur.
You only have to spend a very short period ‘talking Takapuna' with Terence to understand his passion for the place. He loves his role and is excited about the challenges that are under way. I met him for a chat at Zomer Café and we then strolled along Hurstmere Road.
"Town centres are about people, they give people a sense of belonging, pride and ownership,” said Terence in a newspaper article he wrote in mid-2018, when advocating for fresh thinking around Takapuna Beach’s proposed new town centre. He continued… "Town centres are the hearts of communities, a place to congregate, a place to share stories, seek assistance, quench a thirst, laugh and have fun. They are about people."
At that time Terence explained that Takapuna Beach had the opportunity to develop its town centre to be focused around people, following years of the community coming together to lobby council to invest and develop Takapuna. He was urging locals not to miss the chance to make it happen.
Seven months on from writing that piece, Terence is thrilled that the decision has been made and work has now well and truly started on further developing Takapuna. In the last few months the old shop at 38 Hurstmere Road has been demolished to make way for a new town square for the area. Design is under way for the large public space which will be a key part of the redevelopment of the Anzac carpark site linking Hurstmere Green, Lake Road and Shore City Shopping Centre, dramatically increasing public space and linking the whole area to the beach.
Meanwhile construction is also well under way on a new 420-space carpark on the nearby site bordered by Huron, Northcroft and Auburn Streets, which will also see the upgrade of the main bus station, Huron and Northcroft Streets. Plans are also progressing for the exciting upgrade to Hurstmere Road itself. Terence says that final designs for the main street upgrade are being worked through, with work anticipated to start early in the second half of this year.
“Aucklanders and visitors love the beach,” says Terence Harpur. "Takapuna Beach is the crown jewel of Auckland and we are now seizing the opportunity to better link the town to the wonderful beach. At the same time we are cleaning up the storm water flowing onto our beach to ensure it remains the crown jewel for generations to come.
“The goal is that once this main street upgrade is completed, 100% of the water that runs off Hurstmere Road will be treated. This will have a massive impact on improving what flows to the beach.
“As an organisation we will be working very hard to help our businesses overcome any disruption during this time of development. This will be a very strong focus for us over the next 12 to 18 months, to ensure locals and visitors are not inconvenienced by the positive change that is going on.”
Terence is also very keen to accentuate the positives that have happened in Takapuna in the past few years.
“Despite retailing going through change like never before, there have been some very positive things happening in our patch. Alan Wiltshire has made significant investments in developing his properties that has bought established businesses such as Lululemon, Huffer, Mexico, Studio Pilates and Zomer to Takapuna – to name just a few.
"We have seen John Copson’s Crown Group invest in developing our new eateries on The Strand, by the beach. Regatta, Tokyo Bay and Franc's are now firmly established as destination eateries with one of Auckland’s best children’s playgrounds right on their doorstep, thanks largely to Chris and Jackie Reeve’s generosity.
"Fortieth and Hurstmere is another gem in the crown that has seen Burger Burger, Bird on a Wire, Dantes Pizza, El Húmero, and Poké Poké arrive in Takapuna – and there is a further expansion under way there at the moment.
"Superette, Three Wise Men, Madam Woo and House of Travel are all new stores added when the Halls Corner site was enhanced over the past three or four years.
“It is also great to see Shore City’s owners making enhancements and I understand some exciting newcomers to the area are on the horizon there as well.
"It is very easy to lose sight of all these positive changes that have taken place. BNZ Marketview figures show Takapuna is doing very well and the future is looking bright with the changes taking place. We can’t forget we also have intensification happening that will bring new people to the area. There are 400 new apartments being built right now. Intensification will be good for Takapuna Beach businesses.'
During our discussion Terence made it clear that he believes now isa good time for businesses in Takapuna. He sees it evolving as the ultimate lifestyle place in Auckland – like Manly and Bondi are in Sydney.
“We have great opportunities here and we are right behind our businesses during this time of development to ensure a bright future. We believe now is a good time for people to open businesses and invest in the area. Clientele is only going to grow. If anyone is keen I am only too pleased to assist in making connections.”
I share Terence Harpur’s enthusiasm for Takapuna Beach. The future is certainly bright!
Contact: Terence Harpur, Chief Executive Officer, Takapuna Beach Business Association. Phone 021 187 3715 or email: Terence@takapunabeach.org.nz www.takapunabeach.org.nz