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Source: Auckland Council

Pukekohe’s Saturday morning markets are on the move.

While a date hasn’t been set, the market will test a new location at Roulston Street and the Town Square.

The move, part of Panuku Development Auckland’s Eat Streets and Laneway Enhancements project, has funding from Waka Kotahi New Zealand Transport Agency’s Innovating Streets Programme.

Franklin Local Board chair Andy Baker says the idea is to create people-friendly spaces.

“Eat Streets will also help shape upgrades of King St, Roulston St and the laneways. We’ll see a series of interventions and activities to enhance the vibrancy of our town.

“We already have a terrific town with all the advantages of country-style service, but that doesn’t mean we can’t do more.”

While the board is still to be briefed on timings, workshops will be held with local business to work through options before changes are tested or made permanent.

“By trialling things, we can involve the community as we test ideas, and improve them in response to feedback from those who use the spaces,” Baker says.

Panuku’s southern priority location director Richard Davison is looking forward to the community collaborating on ideas to boost the town.

“Over the next year, we’re looking to roll out trials to test how we can temporarily boost the centre, so people enjoy spending more time soaking up the places and spaces on offer.

“While we have a few ideas, which include the market move and a one-way layout for parts of King Street, Roulston Street and Devon Lane, we want to talk with locals about what they’d like us to improve, so we can ensure we’re making a positive contribution.

“Once we confirm timings, we’ll be advertising workshops and I’d encourage anyone who’s interested in Pukekohe’s future to get involved.”

Market operator Roger Vincent has been in Pukekohe for more than 20 years.

“The markets have changed a lot over time, different stallholders coming and going, and they are definitely smaller than they were, so anything that revitalises them has to be good.

“Panuku has been excellent to work with on this and some other ideas, so I’m looking forward to moving to the Town Square. The change will be good for all involved.”

He says the markets are often a showcase of Pukekohe produce and he still enjoys seeing the mix of people drawn together. “I’ve had people say to me that they get customers in the market that they never see in the town. It’s always a great mix of people.”