Opinion: New Brighton is back

New Brighton Business and Landowners Association manager Paul Lonsdale writes about the revival of the suburb

It has been an interesting year for New Brighton with the completion of the wonderful seaside playground and sign-off to proceed and build the long-awaited hot pools along the beach front.

Seeing our city council staff investing in public infrastructure points to an improved future for our quaint seaside village, giving rise to some saying that Brighton’s back.

The reality is, Brighton never went away, it was forgotten, and after working out here for two years now, I know some of the locals like it that way.

One of the most interesting comments I have heard from an overseas visitor when asked why they came out to New Brighton was they felt that New Brighton reflected the real New Zealand.

It is authentic, unpretentious, and wrapped up in some of the best natural environment we have in the city.

It is a strange paradox that here in the city we value the land closest to the airport more than we do our beautiful coastline.

This does, however, create opportunities for those seeking to live in this wonderful part of our city.

We have immigrants from many parts of the globe who now live here and cannot believe they are able to afford to live in a place right on the coast.

The New Brighton Business and Landowners Association has been advocating and working with many parties over the years to help breathe new life into the town centre and, while things are not yet where they should be, we are seeing many positive signs of regeneration. We have created enough confidence and demand to fill most vacant sites that can be filled and helped some businesses do better business.

The future for New Brighton is bright and regeneration will happen, we just need to make sure our locals support their local centre so the businesses can survive.