Virtual goggles focus on Te Awamutu’s future

31 October 2017

Waipa District Council is using the very latest virtual reality technology to help showcase Te Awamutu's future.

The council is holding an information session on Thursday 9 November to talk about proposals to develop the town centre. The development, dubbed the Te Awamutu Hub, will be based around Selwyn Park incorporating the existing Trust Waikato Events Centre and library.  

The hub will link to the new destination playground, bike skills park and rose gardens. A discovery centre incorporating museum services, an interactive space and the i-SITE has also been mooted. Over time, the hub would connect to the wider district through cycling and walking trails​ which link Waipa's historic sites. 

Next week Waipa will be one of the first councils in New Zealand to use virtual reality goggles to help bring the proposed development to life. Footage will focus on how Market and Churchill Streets will look in the future.   

The proposal is for Market Street to be a 'connector street' including wide footpaths, trees and small boutique shops. Churchill St will become an area for residential or visitor accommodation. Feedback is specifically being sought on plans for Churchill St which is currently zoned commercial/road reserve and contains a large piece of unused land. Council may consider selling the land, conditional on a purchaser developing accommodation that supports the hub concept.

Communications and engagement manager Natalie Palmer said virtual reality goggles would help bring the proposals for Te Awamutu to life in a way many people had not yet experienced.

"If people haven't tried these goggles, we would really encourage them to come and have a go.  They really are incredible and make you feel as though you are right there, walking down a streetscape which doesn't yet exist."

Spectacular "bird's eye view" footage from the top of three Waipa mountains – Maungatautari, Pirongia and Kakepuku – will also be available to view. 

The information session, to be held at the Te Awamutu library from 3pm-6pm on Thursday November 9, will provide more detail on specific parts of the proposed hub. A booklet providing more detail about the long-term vision for the area is already available with copies at council offices and libraries. 

Feedback is already being accepted on line at

For more information, contact: Natalie Palmer 027 807 3174

Page reviewed: 01 Nov 2017 4:02pm