The concept of a Mainstreet organisation for Whanganui was first discussed in the late 1980s. To say that Whanganui’s City Centre back then was tired and moribund would be painting a rosy picture. Whanganui was about to get a new shopping mall adjacent to the main retail street.
At the same time, there had been business creep from the main shopping district to newer & more advantageously rated areas of the city. With a static population the city centre was losing out.
The first step for Whanganui’s Mainstreet movement was to recognise that if something was not done, the Central Avenue district would decline & eventually die.
Mainstreet Whanganui rose with support from the Retailers Association.
Council was to spend money to refurbish and upgrade the main shopping precinct & retailers wanted to be involved. The result was what was then and remains one of the best central city upgrades in the Country.
Mainstreet Whanganui may have begun as a lobby group but today it is a thriving organisation that, while continuing to lobby on behalf of retailers, has grown to encompass promotional activity, events, central city maintenance, gardens & ongoing beautification projects.
Mainstreet offers a range of services in the CBD that generate a moderate amount of revenue to help fund our annual costs. These include using our expertise to assist with delivery of public parades and marches, selling banner advertising sites across Victoria Avenue, putting up and taking down advertising flags around the city and managing use and bookings of Majestic Square.
Mainstreet is responsible for all things operational in it’s area including preparation and maintenance of gardens, hanging baskets, management of cleaning and maintenance on the street.
Mainstreet Whanganui has three governing committees that ensure the ongoing success of the organisation.
These committees are all made up of volunteers.
The Mainstreet Executive is the governing body. The executive is responsible for the stability of the organisation and the strategic strength and direction.
The Design and Heritage Sub-Committee
This sub-committee is concerned with the longevity of our unique heritage assets and the application of good urban design in our CBD. The committee is made up of building owners, developers, architects, engineers and historians.
The Business Promotions Sub-Committee –
This sub-committee is responsible for the creative direction of the annual promotions calendar and seizing ongoing marketing opportunities for our town centre. All members are welcome to attend these meetings which are notified in the Mainstreet newsletter.
Whanganui in Bloom
In summer the CBD buildings, lamp posts and arches are adorned with hanging floral baskets. These baskets are paid for via the CBD rateable levy, with some additional monies from general rates. They go up in early November and come down again for Winter. There will be baskets hung on your building or awning - if you notice that your baskets are struggling, or need replacing please let us know so we can bring you fresh ones.
Mainstreet Whanganui continues to ensure that Whanganui’s central city remains one of the most admired in New Zealand.
In 2019 our Ridgway Street won the very prestigious 'Most Beautiful Street' & our community also was awarded the 'Most Beautiful City' in New Zealand.
News Story of Award Win in the Whanganui Chronicle: