Growing Waimate

Waimate District is a small region in the rolling foothills of the central South Island. Over 7000 residents, hundreds of farms, and several small towns make up the District, set in an outstanding natural landscape.  

Affordable housing, an abundance of recreational activities, its central location and good education make it an attractive place to live, work and do business.

And right now the District is positively buzzing.

The Waimate District Council are in the process of creating their Economic Development Strategy, which will be implemented over 10 years.  They launched the Explore Waimate website and social media marketing programme in December 2017, after an initial round of community consultation.  This is one of a series of action plans which will contribute to the regions growth.

The District saw a 26% increase in tourism spend in April 2018, and the median property price has risen from $185,000 in July 2017 to $260,000 now.  

Transport Waimate and artist Bill Scott have brought the historic grain silos to life with poignant murals honouring historic Waimate figures. 

Waimate is making a name for itself with its MTB and walking tracks thanks to the tireless effort of our local MTB club and Waimate Trackways.  

Our wildest visitors, the Bennett's Wallaby are also our biggest tourist attraction.  Visit ‘Gwen the wallaby lady’ at her Tame Wallaby Park and see why visitors rave about the experience.

Confidence is reflected in the amount of new businesses opening, including a craft brewery, and rural areas are seeing an increase in agri tourism ventures.  Development on the main CBD in Waimate includes new medical and veterinary centres.

And in other really exciting news, Waimate has recently been successful in obtaining entry into the Department of Internal Affairs Community Led Development programme.  This means we have access to significant funding for the next five years for projects and initiatives that we, the community, decide on.

Waimate District will create a community action plan and action the selected projects.  The community is the decision maker and you get to have your say on the projects.

This programme has benefited other regions, who are rolling out some exciting initiatives, including:

  • Night Food Markets - fortnightly Night Food Markets throughout summer.
  • Random Recognition Competition - recognising community members who are going the extra mile with their properties.
  • Pop-up flower gardens - planting donated flowers in roadside spaces, with permission of owners, e.g. in front of businesses.
  • Film nights and youth events - regular film and pizza nights for our youth.
  • Community Artspace - open an artspace in a shopping mall. Curating exhibitions, hosting other artists and providing an opportunity for residents to showcase their work.

    For more information click here.

If you’re passionate about the future of the Waimate District, and want to have your say get in touch with our Community Advisor Liz Stephenson on 0800 824 824, 03 359 5537, or via email.  Like their Facebook page to stay up to date.

It’s an exciting time to be a part of this District, and as Liz says, our community action plan is only limited by our imagination. 

Watch this space….

Kate O'Connell