Win in September with Paper Plus Whitianga as the town centre upgrade continues 28 August 2018 As Phase 3 of the Whitianga Town Centre Upgrade continues around them, Paper Plus Whitianga has much to offer. Owners Derek and Maribel Murie have owned and operated the store for almost five years. Moving from Auckland to Whitianga was a no-brainer for them when the opportunity to buy the business came up. "We were working just ordinary jobs in Auckland and decided we wanted a change and when the chance to buy in Whitianga came up, we thought, what a great idea," says Derek. "We had been to Whitianga previously when we toured the Coromandel, we thought here's our chance and never looked back," he says. The Muries try to help the local community where they can, by donating vouchers or books as prizes for various fundraising efforts, supporting the likes of the local Ladies Fishing Tournament, Surf Life Saving Club and the local Area School. The Muries realise the town centre upgraded needed to happen. "We've seen burst pipes outside the shop, so we know new underground infrastructure had to be put in," says Derek. "We also see the areas of the upgrade that have been completed, which look really nice, so we're feeling that it will all be for the better once it's finished," says Derek. Outside of work, the Muries try to help the local community where they can, by donating vouchers or books as prizes for various fundraising efforts, supporting the likes of the local Ladies Fishing Tournament, Surf Life Saving Club and the local Area School. They are also active with the Mercury Bay Club. "Winter is the best time, we're quiet at the moment, we understand why locals may be avoiding the town centre at the moment, but we have a good loyal bunch that keep coming in to see us," adds Derek. The couple employ one full-timer, one part-timer and two casual staff at the ready for when the busy summer hits. During September, Derek and Maribel are offering shoppers a chance to win in-store, when spending $50 or more in one transaction customers can go into the draw win a one of three Lost Spring all-day thermal swim passes. To find out more visit their Facebook page and don't forget to come on down and get a lucky Lotto ticket and more in-store. Works this week - 28 August All three phases of Albert St are still underway with our contractors Dempsey Wood Civil working hard to get sections of the road open to vehicle traffic. This week: Phase 1 Lee Street to Monk Street. Finishing remedial work on the foot path pavers. Phase 2 Monk Street to Hannan Road. Asphalt surface placement for new road seal. Line marking new road surface and foot path preperation. Preparing to pour concrete driveway entrances. This section of road should be open to traffic by Thursday 30 August, subject to the completion of line marking. Please note parking bays will be closed to enable foot path works to be completed. Phase 3 Blacksmith Lane to Campbell Street. Continue service trench excavation and drainage installation. Installation of new Chorus telephone cable network. Pressure testing and chlorination of new water main pipes. This section of Albert St from Blacksmith Lane to Campbell Street is closed to vehicle traffic until Thursday 11 November. Whitianga Town Centre artwork: Last week the Mercury Bay Community Board approved proposed art designs and installation locations, which are part of the Whitianga town centre upgrade - Stage Two. The artwork has three main concepts, each with a navigational theme. Historical walk: A series of approximately 20 pavers installed within the pedestrian path from the Whitianga Wharf, through Taylors Mistake to the new town square plaza. The pavers are a mix of texts and illustrations, etched onto pavers. Navigational-themed sculptures: Three sculptures are proposed to be positioned between the town square plaza and the Whitianga Wharf. Two are carved rock pieces by local Coromandel artist Jocelyn Pratt and the third is a corten steel piece by Kuaotunu sculptor Chris Charteris. Carved timber Pou: These represent aspects of early maori and polynesian navigation and will be positioned adjacent to the path through Taylors Mistake to provide a visual view shaft to the waterfront and to encourage pedestrian access from Albert Street to The Esplanade. The next phase of this project is to further develop and scope the costs of each piece, to be within the Council approved budget. Council will then commission the artists to generate each art piece. Delivery and installation scheduled for completion before August 2019. For further information please visit our Project Page.