Flaxmere Town Centre Urban Design Framework Proposal HIA

Flaxmere town centre was developed in the 1970s, as a privately owned area of several small commercial premises including a supermarket, post shop and health service providers.

Flaxmere town centre was developed in the 1970s, as a privately owned area of several small commercial premises including a supermarket, post shop and health service providers. Associated with the town centre are a number of community and recreational facilities, including an adventure centre, library and a swimming pool complex, on a Hastings District Council owned site of 5.63 hectares.

Flaxmere has a high deprivation index and significant health issues. The Flaxmere Town Centre Urban Design Framework (the Framework) has three main objectives which would significantly benefit the health and wellbeing outcomes of the Flaxmere community:

  • a strong, prosperous and thriving economy
  • safe and secure communities
  • an environment appreciated, protected and sustained for future generations.

The Hastings District Council (HDC) was invited by the Hawke’s Bay District Health Board (HBDHB) to participate in a health impact assessment (HIA) on the Framework.

The HIA compared the status quo with the overall concept of the Framework, looking at the Framework’s potential effect on transport, economic factors, safety and neighborhood housing on the population groups of Pacific families, Māori youth and the elderly.

The HIA recommended that the Hastings District Council:

  • proceeds with implementing the Framework
  • ensures ‘sense of place’ and connectedness issues are addressed within the redesign of Flaxmere.
  • incorporates the concept of the Te Aranga Maori Cultural Landscape Design Strategy and other local initiatives into the Framework.
  • ensures quality building design of new buildings, especially housing, ensuring noise control standards are met to prevent sleep disturbance resulting from mixed use housing.
  • incorporates the principles of Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) in the Framework.
  • continues to explore the economic and employment opportunities for Flaxmere to facilitate the positive pathways which were identified during the HIA
  • be aware of the potential for fast food restaurants and additional alcohol outlets to become established as a result of the Framework.
  • investigates increased public transport and active movement options for the community of Flaxmere.
  • along with the Hawke’s Bay District Health and other stakeholders, undertakes a benchmarking exercise of the current health and well-being indicators in Flaxmere and then monitor these indicators at regular intervals after the implementation of stage 1 of the Framework.
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