The Rakaia Salmon site – with its landmark replica salmon sculpture, is undoubtedly one of the Ashburton District's most iconic features, attracting a lot of interest from tourists and passing travelers. The Council was very excited to announce that the site will be undergoing major upgrades with the help of a significant Government grant – enhancements which you can now provide feedback on.
Whether you live in Rakaia, use the site or are simply interested in its future, the Council wants your feedback on the plans and options in mind for enhancing the popular attraction.
The upgrade is possible thanks to a $739,945 grant from the Government's Tourism Infrastructure Fund, $197,590 from the Council and a generous $20,000 contribution from the Rakaia Lions, totaling $975,535.
The Council is proposing a number of improvements, including installing a new 10-pan public toilet block, additional playground equipment, solar-powered rubbish bins, concrete pathways, additional seating and picnic tables, interpretive signage detailing Rakaia's history, as well as plantings and landscaping. There is also a proposal to relocate the caravan dump station to an alternate location in Rakaia.
It's crucial that the Rakaia Salmon Site continues to be a valued attraction that leaves visitors with positive experiences of our district, and is a place residents can be proud of.
The necessity of this upgrade lies in the fact that the current facilities are not keeping up with the growing demand from travelers. To put things into perspective, investigations into the use of the Rakaia toilets revealed that they see between 500 and 700 visits each day. Additionally, a survey carried out over the 2018/19 summer found that the majority of people who stopped to use the facilities arrived by bus, and most of these people were international visitors. There is a clear need to provide adequate conveniences to meet current and future demands.
This is why the significant contribution from the Government's Tourism Infrastructure Fund is such a big achievement for the project.
A Proposed Concept Plan for the site and ideas to enhance the area are available on the Council website ashburtondc.govt.nz/haveyoursay
I encourage everyone to have their say on this important upgrade by completing a short online survey available at www.research.net/r/MY9B6KQ
. This survey is open until 5pm, 4 October 2019.
If you'd like to learn more about the project, Council staff will be hosting an Open Day at the Rakaia Salmon Site on Saturday 21 September from 12-2pm. We look forward to seeing you there.