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Waitaki MP Jacqui Dean has welcomed a much-needed discussion this week around the revitalisation of Oamaru’s town centre. 
A large crowd gathered at Oamaru’s Opera House last night for a discussion led by Design Federation’s Annabel Berry looking at ways to revitalise Oamaru’s CBD.

“There has been talk around town for a while now about the state of our main street and the number of empty shopfronts. While it is natural for businesses to progress, close or re-locate the end result is still a sad looking main street which needs a plan.

“I have always been a champion for Oamaru and all this unique and picturesque town has to offer. I am proud of the way we have grown and changed and adapted over the years. 

Ms Dean says while business confidence may be tanking – the latest NZIER survey falling once again to the lowest point in a decade - this is a town that has shown great resilience in the past and I know it will continue to do so. 

“Oamaru township suffered through several droughts in the 80’s, businesses went quiet, but the town took steps to ensure the local economy thrived.

“I see the initiative led by Ms Berry as similar, looking into ways to encourage businesses back into the main street, while retaining and protecting the existing ones. 

Ms Dean says the Council has already started work to improve the main street, but it is great to see other locals getting involved, putting energy towards boosting our CBD so we can continue to draw visitors into a main centre that we can all be proud of.

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