Pookeno (also known as Pokino) is a fast-growing town in the north of the Waikato District, located 53km southeast of Auckland and 72km north of Hamilton.
Now home to 5,545 people (Statistics 2021), Pookeno has seen significant growth since just the 500 people who called it home back in 2005. During the past six years from 2014-2021 the township has experienced a 341% population increase, and there is predicted continued growth.
Pookeno is transforming into a vibrant and people-centric community destinations which hosts a variety of successful businesses and industrial ventures. Waikato District Council is proud to be working alongside the Pookeno Community Committee and Mana Whenua to retain and enhance the identity of the township.
Known for its phenomenal ice creams, bacon and sausages that have seen people stop during their travels between Hamilton and Auckland, Pookeno has even been referred to as the ice cream capital of New Zealand!
Pookeno Plans and Projects
Pookeno's Public Realm Concept Plan
The purpose of the Pookeno Public Realm Concept Plan is to support the rapidly growing residential community by helping transform its town centre into a vibrant, people-focused community destination.
The Pookeno Public Realm Concept Plan (PRCP) builds a sequential plan that will take the Pookeno community, Mana Whenua and Council on a journey to develop a distinct and compact centre, reconnecting the existing residential community with its built (hard) and natural (soft) environments.
While the population growth of Pookeno has been exponential and calls for a radical transformation of the town centre, working with Mana Whenua and the existing community is fundamental to retain and enhance its identity. Council acknowledges the genuine opportunity to work in a partnership approach with local stakeholders, residents and Mana Whenua to achieve the mutual outcomes desired for Pookeno.
Pookeno's Local Area Blueprint (L.A.B)
The Waikato District Blueprint will work to achieve the overall vision established by Council for the district, which is to create Liveable, Thriving and Connected Communities- He noohanga aahuru, he iwi what ora, he hapori tuuhono tahi.
The aim of the Waikato District Blueprint is to provide a high-level ‘spatial picture’ of how the district could progress over the next 30 years, address the community’s social, economic and environmental needs, and respond to its regional context.
Local Area Blueprints (L.A.B.s) have been developed to help townships in the district realise the communities' needs and aspirations. are specific to the townships of the Waikato District, and are more detailed than the overarching Waikato District Blueprint.
The development of the Pookeno Local Area Blueprint started in 2018 when Council came to the community to hear what was important to you. The Pookeno community expressed many ideas and priorities for what you wanted in your community in the future.
In 2019 Council came back to the Pookeno community to hear the top three priorities, and in 2020 we again visited to discuss who should lead each of these priorities and initiatives (community led, council led or perhaps a combination of both).
The top priority initiatives for Pookeno include:
- Consider the need for a sports park
- Establish library, community and customer services and / or facilities.
- Prepare a detailed retail needs calculation, preliminary transport and open space options, followed by the production of a town centre strategy that reconciles the current and future retail, employment, community facility, and open space needs
- Moved to district-wide, but still top: build a strong identity
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