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KCDC and Mayor's failures behind Council property purchase

News that Kāpiti Coast District Council has purchased a prime piece of commercial land at 26 Marine Parade in Paraparaumu Beach, valued at $1.6 million, following the owner being unable to develop it due to Council’s restrictive planning rules, suggests a failure of both Council and Mayor K Gurunathan to make Council genuinely easy to do business with, says Kāpiti Coast mayoral candidate Gwynn Compton.

“The fact that one of Kāpiti’s largest and most experienced property developers couldn’t make a prime piece of waterfront land at Paraparaumu Beach commercially viable due to Council’s restrictive planning rules, exposes Council’s ‘Open for Business’ culture as an abject failure. Things need to urgently change at Council if our district is to properly manage the rapid growth we’re experiencing, and we’re fast running out of time with the opening of Transmission Gully less than a year away,” says Mr Compton.

Gwynn Compton has also called out Mayor K Gurunathan, with the purchase of 26 Marine Parade illustrating that the Mayor has failed to deliver on his campaign promises from 2016.

“Mayor K Gurunathan needs to front up and explain his inability to deliver on his promises. He’s talked a big game in previous campaigns about making Council more open for business, as well as having Council conduct itself in a genuinely open, transparent, and democratically accountable manner. Yet here we are, just days out from an election, with the news that Council’s failure to be open for business has forced a sizeable developer to sell their land.

“What’s more, despite elected members pleading Council’s poverty on the campaign trail when defending steep rates rises and the inability to adequately fund community facilities, Council has somehow managed to whip out the chequebook to purchase this land at short notice. On top of that, our community has been left in the dark as to what’s happening, how much has been paid, or what Council even plans to do with the land.

“If we’re serious about meeting the challenge of accommodating the rapid growth Kāpiti is experiencing, then we need to be enabling smart development, not holding it back. As Mayor, I’ll use the upcoming independent review of Council as a lever to get real change and ensure that Council works for and empowers our communities, rather than working against them as so often seems to be the case now.”

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