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Market Central, Transforming Taupō One Stall at a Time

Five years ago, Kaz, a stay-at-home mum at the time, stumbled upon a newspaper ad that

would ultimately transform both her life and the Taupō community. She took the reins of a local market at Northcroft Reserve, driven by her passion for everything local, community-focused, and sustainable. This passion led to the creation of Market Central, which quickly evolved from a simple marketplace into a vibrant community hub. Today, Market Central is more than just a market; it's a must-visit destination in Taupō, renowned for showcasing only local talent and offering a variety of gourmet foods, arts, crafts, and live entertainment. From its humble beginnings with just 50 stalls, Market Central has grown to feature 140 stalls during its peak summer season, drawing in 6,000 visitors each week.

Kaz's vision didn't stop with Market Central. She has also enriched the Taupō community with ventures like Dinner at the Lake and the Kinloch Markets. Dinner at the Lake has become a summer staple, attracting around 2,000 attendees each week for evenings filled with live music, local craft beverages, and breathtaking sunsets. By taking on the Kinloch Markets, an event with a 22-year history, she has overseen its growth to attract 12,000 visitors and hundreds of stalls during Labour Weekend, thanks largely to its reputation spreading by word of mouth.

Sustainability underpins every aspect of Kaz’s operations. She has embraced significant waste reduction measures by partnering with Para Kore and taking on their Māori-based, zero-waste programme, Oranga Taiao, to track and minimise landfill waste. Para Kore volunteers at the market, assisting with zero-waste practices such as composting food scraps for local pigs, stacking waste and promoting the use of compostable materials. This initiative helps reduce the extraction of natural resources and raw materials from Papatūānuku, drastically cutting the market's waste output. "It makes sense to me. I just think, why wouldn’t you do it if you have the resources?" Kaz comments.

Additionally, Market Central supports the local community by offering a free space each week to community organisations, charities, and businesses. They are welcome to fundraise or raise awareness for their organisation at the market. These sustainability and local development efforts can be explored further on Market Central’s website. 

The journey hasn't been without its challenges, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, with the support of Amplify from the very beginning, Kaz found the guidance and resources she needed to navigate these difficulties. From business and funding advice to mentorship through the FireStation business program, Amplify's assistance has been invaluable in the market's development. "Amplify has been amazing for me. If I've got an issue, they're just really good to bounce off," Kaz shares.

Kaz's aspiration was always more than just managing a market; it was about creating iconic markets that would draw people from across the country to Taupō. With the market's continuous growth and its burgeoning reputation, it's evident that Kaz is well on her way to achieving this dream, if not already there. 



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