Kopu is a long-established business hub in the Coromandel and with the new bridge providing much-improved links to the rest of the country, it's time to focus on improving the business potential. Interested? Here we go... Building business in Kopu Kopu is the gateway (Kaiwhenua) to the Coromandel and is centrally located to three major cities (Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga), New Zealand's two busiest ports and Auckland international airport. With the support of TCDC, the Economic Development Committee and Kopu businesses, the area has the potential to become: A perfect location for small to medium commercial and industrial businesses An attractive service and information centre upon entry to the Coromandel A worthy recreational destination with access to the Hauraki Rail Trail, Waihou River walking trails, the Kopu marine precinct, heritage features (Cooks memorial and old Kopu Bridge (subject to its future) and other recreational facilities (Click on image to open larger version) What's next? We're now looking at how we can retain existing businesses while attracting newcomers through our Kopu Doing Business Better programme. A working group has been set up with representatin from our staff, NZTA, Waikato Regional Council, iwi and the Kopu Landowners Association. In conjunction with BECA, a professional services consultancy, it has produced a draft Kopu Development Concept Plan which has been submitted to Council's Proposed District Plan. We've also carried out a lot of storm water modelling to reduce the need and cost to potential developers and we're now proposing some land acquisition for storm water retention, which will be consulted on during our Long Term Plan (2015-2025). The Kopu Development Group, made up of the local business association, has also been set up to look at marketing and investment opportunities within Kopu. Meanwhile, our Council has worked proactively with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and Chorus to upgrade Kopu's broadband speeds as part of the Government's Rural Broadband Initiative. There is plenty of spare capacity available for businesses wanting faster broadband. If you're interested in setting up a business at Kopu or want to talk business opportunities on the Coromandel, email our Area Manager for Thames and Colville-Coromandel, email@example.com, or Economic Development Programme Manager Colleen Litchfield, firstname.lastname@example.org. The next stage is to see move ahead with the key infrastructure enablers, such as stormwater works, and in parallel with further discussion with the community to see what elements of of the concept plan can be put into effect. Background The Kopu Concept Plan Analysis Summary In late 2013 a survey of Kopu business operators was conducted which helped identify infrastructure and service needs and ideas for the Kopu business park upgrade and gateway concept. The survey resulted in the Kopu Concept Plan Analysis Summary. In early 2014 BECA was engaged to produce a draft Kopu Development Concept Plan. Kopu Development Concept Plan - Stage 1 Report A working group was established with representation from TCDC, NZTA, WRC, iwi and the Kopu Landowners' Association. The purpose of this project was to facilitate collaboration and integrated planning and development between the multiple public sector agencies TCDC, NZTA, WRC and the community. With input from the Working Group, BECA produced a draft Kopu Development Concept Plan - Stage 1 Report which was presented to Kopu businesses on 5 March 2014 for their comment and submission to the Proposed District Plan prior to 14 March 2014. Thames Community Board submitted to the Proposed District Plan in favor of the concept plan. This concept plan is intended to be a development framework which will form an additional layer of detail to the Kopu to Thames Structure Plan. The Kaiwhenua, or Gateway Block, is intended to be developed into an inviting space that would attract visitors to stop and take some time to explore what the Coromandel has on offer. The intention is for Kopu to redefine its character and re-establish itself as a transition or arrival point and eventually become a destination in its own right while not detracting from its core function as a valuable industrial area.