Evolve Rotorua is calling for the development of “Eat Streat 2.0”, urging Council and local businesses to trial an expansion of Eat Streat this summer.

We believe there is now a strong case to build on the success of Eat Streat and transform Tutanekai Street, between Arawa Street and Pukaki Street, into Eat Streat 2.0 over the summer.

The development of Eat Streat has drawn restaurants, people and vibrancy to this area so the expansion along Tutanekai Street is a natural progression to support the investment of these businesses and a recognition that this type of strategy is effective in regenerating neighbourhoods in the inner city.

There could be multiple benefits with the development of Eat Streat 2.0. The activation of the street as a new public space could help develop our night-time economy, increase vibrancy in the city, attract more people to this area and through this begin to address safety issues and help our local businesses.

The concept would allow for organic growth of Eat Streat while also minimising disruption and giving the businesses in this neighbourhood the opportunity to invest in the feel and atmosphere that best suits their needs while adding to the diversity of the inner city.

Evolve Rotorua propose Council and local businesses work together to trial Eat Streat 2.0, closing off the street to vehicles on weekday evenings (after 5pm) and on Saturday and Sunday after 1pm, thereby allowing parking during the day and the creation of a pedestrian and outdoor eating space in the evening and weekends. They propose a trial run, over the summer months, from December – March.

Currently, this block of Tutanekai Street has eleven cafés, restaurants and bars, a dairy and a church. Evolve Rotorua have spoken to businesses along the street who have been highly supportive of the idea.

The trial could enable owners to expand their businesses, encouraging more pedestrians to the area in the evenings and weekends, and help make Rotorua more exciting. Allowing for the expansion of Eat Streat in an organic way could enable the owners of those business to expand within their capacity and create their own identity. By enabling café and restaurant owners to create their own outdoor spaces we can reduce the financial burden on the Council. Eat Streat 2.0 could build on the existing success of Eat Streat, and if the trial proves successful we could look at making a more permanent public space.


Photo is of a high street in the UK, as an example of what Eat Streat 2.0 could look like. Photo credit: @johnage on Twitter