People urged to join in town branding discussion





Te Awamutu Community Board chairwoman Ange Holt and Te Awamutu Chamber of Commerce interim CEO Shane Walsh held their first faceto-face consultation last week, meeting with members of the Te Awamutu Rose Society and Te Awamutu Rose Trust at the home of society president Diana Jones to discuss the Who Are We Te Awamutu? project. Shane gave a presentation, outlining the aim of the survey and consultation process to identify a “brand” for Te Awamutu. He made it clear this wasn’t a process to get rid of “Rosetown” — but to find out if that was the best brand for the town based on what the public thought. “It is clear we need to start by knowing who we are — right now.” To that end Shane developed a survey that is designed to answer that question by pulling a lot of information and knowledge from locals into a pool of responses. He also studied small-town branding and found that about 80 per cent was unsuccessful. Some of the main drivers to failure include brands that are devised by councils, or some other authority, without community input and buyin, and brands that are no longer relevant. Project organisers plan to meet with community groups representing youth, sports organisations, service clubs and business, senior groups and iwi over the next couple of months. Members of the Te Awamutu Rose Society took the opportunity to outline the community process that resulted in the Te Awamutu Rose Gardens in the late 1960s, and subsequent adoption of the name Rosetown as a brand for Te Awamutu. They said the importance of the Rose Gardens and the image of Te Awamutu as a strong rose growing region should not be underestimated. They also reminded Shane and Ange that many local businesses had adopted Rosetown as part of their business name, and that was an important part of their branding. Shane remarked that a good brand should be reflected in events and activities in the town, and he didn’t see that any more with Rosetown. It was acknowledged the rose society had not been active for a few years due to various reasons, most latterly the impact of Covid. It was also explained that some of the other former Rosetown related events had ceased to operate because of compliance issues, lack of volunteers coming through the ranks of community organisations, more people moving to town who don’t have a strong link to the community and changing trends. Ange said all the information the group could gather was important so they could make a strong recommendation to council about a town brand, and she urged groups to organise a meeting and for people to take part in the survey. The survey has been supported by Te Awamutu Pak’nSave — everyone who completes the survey is in to win a $500 gift card. To contact the group about opportunities for consultation, or to share views, use the contact information at or share you views with the Te Awamutu Courier as a Letter to the Editor. To undertake the survey, visit