Margaret Stevenson-Wright has mentioned the Lindale centre just north of Paraparaumu at candidates meetings, so we went to have a look as our last visit was a few years ago.
This Kapiti Observer article from 2014 was headed “Lindale centre no longer buzzing” — Honeymeisters was closing and the Kapiti Cheese and Ice Cream store had closed in 2012.
[A] serious impact was the redesign of State Highway 1 outside Lindale in 2005, which she estimates coincided with a drop in visitors to her store of about 30 per cent.
“It used to be a quick sweep in from the highway, now it’s lost a lot of its visibility in many ways.
“People have driven past before they even knew where Lindale was.”
Local customers were the minority during the 1990s, but now make up the lion’s share of her visitors. She is pleased at their loyalty, but doubtful they could keep the store viable.
The owner of Lindale Farm said business was getting better a result of cruise ship passengers, presumably being bused there from Wellington. However, another article from February 2015 begins: “Plans for a new subdivision at the Lindale Park complex have been confirmed, but backers remain tight-lipped about whether this includes a residential development. Managing director Greg Rudings said a resource consent application for a subdivision had been lodged with Kapiti Coast District Council, including part of the land soon to be vacated by Lindale Farm. He declined to comment further.” Hmm.
All the above has more than a little resemblance to what is being said about Waikanae town centre. The general nature of the Lindale centre isn’t much different with a similar mix of service businesses and a few retailers. There wasn’t much foot traffic around when we visited.
The fundamental is that to get visitors there needs to be visitor attractions and they need to be things which are more than a little out of the usual. Several people see a revamped and enlarged Mahara Gallery as being one, and it should be, but is it enough?