April 2022 - Riverton/Aparima Needs Analysis Survey


Riverton/Aparima is a popular destination for local and international visitors. The town has had a resurgence of residential growth, driven by its proximity to the Southern Scenic Route and weekend escapes for Invercargill, Gore and particularly Queenstown Lakes residents. The Oraka Aparima Community Board is wishing to understand what the community values so that this can form the basis of a development plan to nominate future projects within the Long Term Plan.

The process

In addition, a separate project is being worked on which builds on the previous designs/work at Taramea Bay Reserve and looks to create a 30-year development plan as part of a future reserve management plan review. This survey will feed into an options development plan for both projects scheduled for 6-22 May 2022 with an open day pencilled in for Saturday 14 May. All plans will then be discussed with the community board and the final plan consulted on as part of the SDC Long Term Plan process.

Early insights

A series of interviews were held recently with community leaders, community board members, Aparima School students and teachers. A summary of the early insights which have assisted in the background and research stage of the project are noted below:
The town is experiencing growth and needs to understand how it can spatially grow, whilst enhancing its existing open spaces, connecting these with the streets and pedestrian & cycle accessways in a safe and attractive way.

There is an abundance of large open spaces for sports fields, coastal reserves and conservation parks. Riverton also has several neighbourhood reserves and a heritage orchard space. There are good examples of the community taking on projects to enhance the area such as the heart of the town and skatepark additions.

Riverton has many attractive and valued open spaces such as Mores Scenic Reserve, the Jacobs River Estuary Wetland, North Beach, Taramea Bay, Taramea and heart of the town-Bath Road estuary walk. Unfortunately, the connections to get to these places are often severed and are primarily car accessed rather than for walking and cycling - even though the town is relatively flat and compact.

The Waka Kotahi-NZTA road and pedestrian bridge crossing the Jacobs River Estuary has limited space for cyclists crossing and often cyclists need to hold up traffic to legally cross the bridge. There is a perception that there is no dedicated space for cyclists on Riverton’s roads and therefore people who are not confident cyclists are less inclined to utilise their bikes as a form of transport or leisure activity.

There is a threat that many of the character buildings will be demolished or be deemed uninhabitable if seismic upgrade and repurposing funding is not found or available.

There are multiple community-owned buildings, especially in the main street, that are not fit for purpose or require considerable investment to bring them up to modern standards. In addition, the lack of a community performance space and large seated venue have been raised as existing gaps in the community facilities offering.


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