Show you 'Love Hokitika'

By Rebekah Fraser

A new campaign to bring the “hustle and bustle” back to Hokitika’s central business district will be launched this week.
The brainchild of Red Streetwear owner Rebecca Pearson, the ‘Love Hokitika — Our Cool Little Town’ promotion aims to bring shoppers out of their homes and back in to town.
Mrs Pearson said the idea was about encouraging people to shop locally while at the same time getting local retailers to work together.
“I really want to bring back the bustle to town. It’s about encouraging people to come back into town to see what we have.”
A gradual move to on-line shopping was beginning to impact local stores, she said.
“I want people to come in and see what is on offer locally first, instead of just turning to the internet. Hokitika has lot on offer.”
The first event planned is a retailers’ market day, scheduled for November 16, where store owners will be encouraged to bring their wares out on to the footpaths.
She was hopeful retailers would embrace the idea, with every shop taking part — information would be distributed to businesses this week.
“My dad used to own the Westland Sports Depot and I remember the same sort of thing happening, everyone was out on the streets. It was really festive and buzzing. It was awesome.”
Stores would also be encouraged to get in the festive mood by decorating their windows and by staying open a little later on the day.
“I hope when people drive into town all they see is balloons and streamers and a real atmosphere. It doesn’t have to be hard — cafes could do little heart-shaped sandwiches, hairdressers can show off their specials.”
The Hokitika Lions Club had donated trestle tables that would be available to shops to use if needed, free of charge.
“The hope is that if this first market day goes well we can do another one closer to Christmas.”
A Christmas shopping promotion will be launched on Friday, in which shoppers will go in the draw to win big after shopping at participating stores.
Hokitika retailers will be asked to donate a $100 voucher which will then be given away in a live draw on December 20.
“Hopefully businesses get behind that too and we can have another celebration with the live draw.”