Key to SALT District's sense of place


Clr. Sara Templeton

I love SALT. We’ve been going to Little High as a family since it opened and always take out of town visitors. There’s something for everyone and it feels like it’s always been there – tonight was pizza, burgers and dumplings, after having a look at the OHO festival in Boxed Quarter.

As individual businesses have opened in the area, it’s been the locally-led developments in the public realm that have pulled it together, giving it an eclectic and urban vibe; a real sense of place that is so hard to do in new parts of cities.

Using recycled materials and street art has been great, but the key has been that it’s been led by the local community and not done for them. There’s a real sense of ownership and community growing – and I hope it spreads.

Ngā mihi,


Councillor Sara Templeton is the elected member for Heathcote ward, which stretches from Waltham out to Te Onepoto/Taylors Mistake. She is passionate about enabling communities to connect and strengthen for long-term wellbeing and resilience, as well as sustainability and climate change.

Sara's journey to becoming a Councillor included several years volunteering in her local Heathcote Valley community, in earthquake recovery and community building. This led to co-editing with Sooze Harris a fantastic little book called "Heathcote: The Upside", which documents and celebrates the community-led response, creativity and initiatives that flowered following the 2011 earthquakes. You can reach her at

Facebook links: Sara Templeton, Heathcote Village Project, Freerange Press.