KBA Newsletter November 2018: Welcome to our new KBA committee members

Welcome to our new KBA Committee members

Pictured: Andrew Thomas, Piers Bowman, Grady Elliot.

There was a changing of the guard during the recent AGM as the KBA farewelled three long standing committee members and welcomed three newcomers onto the committee.

A huge thank you goes out to Charles Ninow (Bowerbank Ninow), Lauren Gunn (Colleen) and Christina Jeffery (Tautai Pacific Arts Trust) for the tireless effort they have put into the business association.

The three new K' Road business people joining the KBA Committee are Grady Elliott, Piers Bowman and Andrew Thomas. We asked them what they hoped to achieve – and other stuff.

Grady Elliott - Operations Manager of Zeco Group Ltd (Family Bar/Club, Saloon Bar, Shanghai Lil etc): I joined the committee, because it was time to give something back to the community. I'm hoping to contribute where I can through my wealth of hospo knowledge with the night scene. My one pet hate at the moment is the people who plaster posters everywhere - bench seats, lamp posts, private property, empty shop windows, power boxes, rubbish bins, phone boxes etc. There needs to be some guidelines. The poor road sweeper spends hours scraping them off ...

Piers Bowman – Plus Architecture Associate: The KBA has been all over everything on K' Road since we arrived here about two years ago. They help foster and continue the K' Road vibe and that has definitely got us more involved in what is happening around us.

On top of that I organise a yearly get together bash for the 18+ architecture and design studios around K' Road and KBA has been very supportive of that. Joining the KBA committee is a good way to give back, support similar initiatives and keep the vibe going.

Andrew Thomas – Michael Lett Gallery Business Partner: Art galleries are fairly well represented among the mix of businesses around the K' Rd area. I think they contribute something to K' Rd's identity - so having a representative from this sector on the KBA committee is important. I put my hand up to be that person as Charles steps down.

I hope during my tenure I can contribute thoughtfully to issues as they arise and help maintain the culture and energy of the K Rd precinct, whilst encouraging change that attracts new people to the area.

What do you think the KBA role is and what do you think it does best currently?

Andrew: To advocate for the combined interests of the unique mix of businesses operating in this area and have a good working relationship and persuasive influence with council.

In terms of what it currently does best, this is something I look forward to learning more about as I admittedly haven't been as engaged as perhaps I should be with what KBA does.

Piers: I am still finding out! I think it is supporting and facilitating the continuation or development of the identity and culture that I mentioned above through encouraging events/people to K' Road, while supporting those here. It is happening but more can be done.

Grady: To get businesses working together as one for the betterment of the street. I'm keen to look at how we can work together and grow so we get to know our neighbours and look after them. Plus, make K Rd a fun and exciting place to be with great event activations ...

What do you see as the biggest challenges for K' Road over the next year?

Andrew: A lot of the challenges are to do with transport.

Grady: The biggest challenge in 2019 will be the bike lane. Once they start work, watch out because there will be disruption everywhere. Jack hammers, walk bridges, dust, fencing, trucks, diggers, reduced car lanes - and customer mayhem. Unfortunately customers don't like earthworks and will walk the other way, no matter how you try to dress it up. I've been through one before downtown. Not nice but the end result will be great ...

Piers: Keeping people happy! K' Road has a strong identity and there is a lot of change happening, so how will K' Road adapt to that change while maintaining its identity and culture with its residents, businesses and visitors?

What keeps you in the neighbourhood?

Andrew: The space we are in works particularly well for us. Being surrounded by like minded businesses is also great. It's an environment I enjoy coming to work in and being a part of.

Grady: Watching K' Rd change and evolve ... 10 years ago it was rough and nobody wanted to visit. Today it has come a long way and is much safer. There is still work to do but it is much much better.

Piers: Architects need a genuine, tangible and honest environment (with a little grit). Sterile corporate spaces are not for us and K' Road keeps it real and allows people to be and express themselves freely. The diversity of businesses and people here also fosters a sense of creativity.

New committee members' backgrounds

Andrew is business partner of Michael Lett Gallery which has been operating on - or near - K' Road since 2003.

Grady is part of a group involved in many K' Road bars and clubs, including Family Bar/Club, Saloon Bar, Shanghai Lil and the soon to be opened Grease Monkey.

An architect, Piers came from Melbourne to Christchurch and then to Auckland, to work on the Pacifica Tower and other projects around Auckland. They set up initially in Britomart, moving to K' Road two years ago.

For a full list of the KBA Committee for 2018-2019: http://kroad.com/kba-info/agm-2018/

Return to the Newsletter