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Economic Projects in Ōtorohanga

With a long-term perspective, we work on key areas to drive economic growth, create job opportunities and enhance the quality of life in Ōtorohanga. We offer a range of support services to businesses, providing a platform for learning, collaboration, and innovation.

Our Approach

We aim to create a favourable environment for business growth, innovation, and community well-being, utilising the district's natural advantages to fuel a vibrant economic landscape.

Our Projects and Initiatives

We lead various projects and initiatives promoting sustainable economic growth, making Ōtorohanga an appealing destination for business and living.

Economic Projects

Elevate’s Economic Projects focus on strategic developments that bolster our district's infrastructure and services, ensuring a thriving future for our residents and businesses.

Tourism and Infrastructure Development

  • Facility Concepts: Over the years, Elevate has initiated and supported facility plans to bring life to our community’s facility aspirations.  While not all plans eventuate, a key role of our organisation is ensuring the aspirations of our community are conceptualised.  Our work has included Sports Plans, Cycleways, Accommodation Facilities and Community Facilities for Events and Functions

Retail Revitalisation Project

In July 2021, a collective of community members was brought together by the Ōtorohanga District Development Board, with a focus on the main street of Ōtorohanga.  At the time, 9 stores were empty and COVID-19 significantly impacted the retail and hospitality sector.
The ŌDDB-RRP working group focused on revitalising the main street to create a positive environment to assist the recovery of existing businesses and attract new entrants to town.  Quotes were obtained to clean and paint the buildings and a plan was built to raise funds from outside the retail and hospitality businesses in the main street to support the approach. 

“Revitalize, build pride, attract new businesses”

The project has evolved with time, as partners joined the journey. We are incredibly grateful to Ōtorohanga District Council, Ōtorohanga Lions Club, Ōtorohanga Charitable Trust, The Lines Company, and many local businesses and private individuals who have supported the delivery of this project. 
Through our fundraising efforts, our plan was and continues to progressively paint all buildings in the main street and any others in the town retail area that wish to be involved.


Over the last decade, Elevate has been a proud partner to the Kiwihouse, one of Ōtorohanga's iconic tourist attractions.  Our support has enabled concept designs, feasibility studies and the establishment of key tourist attractions within the park. Learn more about the Kiwihouse.

Kāwhia Seafoods

Elevate supported the provision of a feasibility study to increase aquaculture in the Kāwhia and Aotea Harbours.  The feasibility identified positive opportunities for economic growth; while COVID and tougher financial times have meant that opportunities have not yet been taken, the insights gained by this work are a powerful reminder of the value of our coastal community.

Healthcare Enhancements

  • Ōtorohanga Medical Centre: We supported the establishment of a new medical facility, providing quality medical services to the community.

  • Beattie Home Expansion: With our assistance, Beattie Home now includes an additional wing and a Dementia Unit, enabling our elderly to live comfortably within the community.

Events and Festivals

Our district's social fabric is enriched by events and festivals that bring people together, celebrating culture and fostering community connections.

Community Engagement

  • Incite Events: These bi-annual gatherings inspire the community with New Zealand's renowned speakers, fine dining, and networking opportunities.

  • Kāwhia Spring Fling Art Festival: Elevate provided seed funding to support the establishment of the Kāwhia Spring Fling Art Festival.  Now proudly operating for close to ten years, the Festival is a highlight in the events calendar for the Kāwhia community, attracting visitors from throughout New Zealand.

Animation Workshops

Elevate has supported Ōtorohanga's Youth to explore their creative talents with the provision of animation workshops.  Workshops encouraged young artists to bring creations to life and tell stories in new and innovative ways,

Business and Community Support

At Elevate, we understand that supporting local businesses and the community is crucial to the district's ongoing growth and development.

Business Growth and Networking

  • Business Breakfasts: Elevate delivers regular business breakfasts that enable business owners and leaders the opportunity to network.  Breakfasts have provided support and learning for businesses in tough times, such as COVID, with themes designed to connect with topics of interest and need.

  • Ōtorohanga Trade Training: By setting up and delivering trade training programs, we help equip our workforce with essential skills for the future.

Advertising subsidy for new business

Elevate supports new businesses established in the Ōtorohanga District via an advertising supplement and promotion of the new business via our social media and print media networks. Businesses that have received this service appreciate the opportunity to raise awareness for their new product or service.

Community Support Initiatives

  • Career Support: Hosting Career Expos and providing mentoring, apprenticeships, and work experiences to empower the youth and support local businesses.

  • Workshops & Business Mentoring: A key of our support for business includes the provision of workshops and business mentors. Workshops have included a focus on Budgeting, Governance, First Aid, Customer Service, Employment Law, and HR Advice.  Our mentoring services have seen business owners and managers linked with Mentors in a confidential partnership to achieve success.                                                                           

Ōtorohanga College

Elevate has a key partnership with Ōtorohanga College and a vision to support pathways to the workforce for Rangitahi.  Our support for Youth is varied and has seen us create Career Expos to showcase career opportunities and to hold many of our Business Breakfasts on College premises catered professionally by the school's aspiring chefs.

Other Supported Initiatives

In addition to our key projects, Elevate has been involved in a multitude of other initiatives that contribute to our district’s growth:

  • Kāwhia Playground Funding Application

  • Kāwhia Sign on SH 31

  • Ōtorohanga College Hostel Initial Concept Report

  • Support for Animation Workshops and Women Empowerment

  • Facilitation of First Aid Courses and Customer Service Workshops

  • Coordination of Mayoral Breakfast and Promotional Videos

  • Establishment of Ōtorohanga Employment Hub and Governance Support

  • Ray Hayley's Apprentice Support Programme

  • Pilot Driver Licensing Programme Initiated in 2015

  • Support for Kiwiana School Visits and the Kiwiana Festival

  • Development of Westridge Stage 2 Subdivision

  • Security and Safety Enhancements within the District

Elevate continues to support a wide range of initiatives that resonate with our strategic goals, demonstrating our unwavering commitment to the Ōtorohanga District.