Outlook good for Alexandra

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YVONNE O’HARA

yvonne.ohara@alliedpress.co.nz

The outlook for Alexandra business-wise is positive and Roxburgh can be expected to experience flow-on growth in the foreseeable future, Alexandra Clyde and Districts Business Group chairman Barry Hambleton says.

Although he has been out of the country for the past month, he said Central Otago was “buzzing”.

“We are starting the year in a positive way,” he said.

One of the key issues, as in past years, was the continuing and increasing demand for sections, especially as people wishing to build their homes moved from Queenstown and Wanaka to cheaper Cromwell, and that encouraged others to move to Alexandra.

Most of the sections available in new subdivisions in Omakau and Alexandra had been sold.

As demand for sections increased in Alexandra, he predicted people would start to look at Roxburgh to build.

“Roxburgh will be the next place to grow,” he said.

The Quail Haven subdivision was opened in 2004, but titles only became available in 2011.

Only five houses had been built on 24 lots so far.

He said the Molyneux Estate subdivision took about 10 years “before it took off”, and he thought Quail Haven would follow a similar pattern.

Roxburgh had a new takeaway shop and The Stone House Gardens, a cafe and gardens, had also recently opened.

Mr Hambleton said Dr Delwyn Moller, who has been working with Nasa, had been appointed as Centre for Space Science Technology’s director of research, and that was also good news for Alexandra.

Ranfurly was working on upgrading its hospital.

“Central Otago is buzzing and people are finding it’s a lovely place to live and more and more people are coming here.”

Central Otago District Council’s economic development manager Warwick Hawker was equally optimistic about the coming year, economically speaking.

He said the grape harvest was likely to be two or three weeks early.

Irrigation New Zealand is to host its annual conference in Alexandra in April, which would provide an economic boost to the town.

A workshop was held last year to hear the community’s ideas on a proposed innovation hub concept.

“It has been in a bit of a hiatus as we have been waiting for a report from the workshops.

“They were were really good workshops, with really good turnouts.

“Once we get the report, we can explore how to take it forward and we will be working on that,” he said.

In addition there is to be a public workshop next month to inform retailers about the potential benefits for the AliPay, a Chinese payment platform.