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Big sign mooted for Victoria Rd retaining wall

Flagstaff Team

Devonport branding… the site of the proposed sign at the entrance to Devonport village

A $50,000 ‘Devonport Village’ sign has been proposed for a site at the top of the main street.
The large aluminium sign is envisaged for the concrete retaining wall overlooking Victoria Rd near Kerr St, which is commonly used by schools and other groups for chalk advertising of events.
The Devonport Business Association (DBA) idea is part of a wider push to improve “place-making” for the area.
DBA manager Richard Thorne said the sign plans were at an early stage. “It needs to be of a design and quality that Devonport residents would welcome.”
He hoped locals would air their views in the planning process, which will include seeking resource consents.
Thorne says the need to better identify and promote Devonport as a destination is a key focus for the association board, which has signalled a move away from funding events.
The DBA recently outlined its sign plan to the Devonport-Takapuna Local Board.
It wants to use the $20,000 in annual funding it receives from the board towards the cost, estimated at around $50,000, including design, consents and construction.
The design would be sympathetic to Devonport’s heritage character, said Thorne. It might also have a 3-D appearance.
“Aluminium might be the material, but it won’t be the look.”
Thorne said he hoped the sign might be in place within 12 months and that other new signs could be installed in the area, included at the Devonport end of Lake Rd, to indicate the way to the town centre.
The retro Devonport sign on Lake Rd near the golf course was council-owned, Thorne said. Council staff recently tidied it up by painting the “tatty” framework.
He said one reason Devonport was pushing the Devonport village line was to differentiate itself from Devonports elsewhere, including in Tasmania.
It wanted greater visibility in online searches and aimed to become known as a top-10 attraction for visitors to Auckland – both foreign and domestic tourists – given its appeal, including heritage charm, and easy proximity by ferry to the CBD.
Board members discussing their 2024-25 budget at a workshop last month were briefed on the proposal as part of a wider discussion about how the board area’s three Business Improvement Districts (BIDS) in Devonport, Takapuna and Milford intended to spend their board funding.
Takapuna and Milford are continuing with events, but rather than each using their allocation towards one event in their area asked if they could split the funds between two events.
Several board members wondered about whether the DBA sign proposal met criteria for funding, but decided it was up to the business representatives to decide how they wished to use the money to promote themselves.
Member Gavin Busch said if Devonport’s BID spent the money on the sign it could not seek more money later for an event.
“We’ve got to be more strict on these business associations that they don’t come back wanting money through the back door,” he said.
The remark was a veiled reference to earlier criticism Busch has levelled during a series of funding discussions about support for the Takapuna Beach Business Association, host of a Winter Lights Festival.
Member George Wood said a mana whenua group that has spoken to the board about installing carved pou at the entrances to Devonport might be a “miffed” not to be involved.

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