Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Hellensville---a lovely little town.

I took a trip today to Hellensville with my sister and good friend, Doug. Small town, New Zealand, yes, but what a lovely little place; nice cafes, and the basics re shopping. I did note that clothing shops weren't present--blame the big boys down the road and the online shopping for that, I guess.
It feels like you have slipped back in time a bit, but I say that in a nice way---that is what I like about the place. Take a look at the prices for houses in the real estate agents and you get a picture of 'affordable housing.' Is that not a good reason to move there?
What needs to happen is for employment opportunities to match that. What will it take to attract a few medium sized employers to the town? It has good rail links to the north and south so transport shouldn't be a problem. Between Hellensville and Auckland there is this beautiful 'green belt.' Developing hubs along the rail link and the main road, would also make sense.
I get the feeling that Hellensville's day in the sun is about to happen again. It just needs to be a bit bigger to make the commute to the 'big smoke,' via rail work again. I know the brief experiment of a few years ago didn't pan out, but was it really well thought out and were the trains capable of making the journey without breaking down? Maybe the electrification needs to go as far as this town, although they are still trying to figure out if the big town south of Auckland (Pukekohe) makes economic sense too, so we may have to wait a while before we see moves in that direction again.
New Zealand needs its small towns to thrive. We need that spread in our population and be able to offer an alternate to the ever expanding of our big cities. I for one, given the right employment would move there in a flash. May you thrive, Hellensville.