Kapiti Economic Development Kotahitanga Board Fully Supports Proposed Kapiti Gateway Centre
The newly established Kapiti Economic Development Kotahitanga Board has been updated on the recently completed review by PwC of the proposed Kapiti Gateway Centre.
The Board fully endorses the Gateway Centre as a cornerstone project in the Kapiti Economic Development Strategy and Implementation Plan. The Gateway Centre is seen as pivotal to attracting visitors to the Kapiti District, improving the districts attractiveness and assisting local economic development.
The Chair of Board, Neil Mackay welcomed the PwC report.
“The Board understands the issues raised by the community and has investigated the project to ensure that it is robust and delivers value to the community. The review has been thorough and addressed the concerns raised by the Board members.”
“The Board fully supports the Gateway project and is confident that it will strongly contribute to the district’s economic development”.
The Gateway has substantial benefits; economic, environmental, social and cultural. It will provide a considerable community asset at a highly affordable price. The Provincial Growth Fund has also seen the benefits of the project and has committed $2.23 million to the project.
The economic benefits to the district will grow through increased visitor expenditure from an estimated $.5m pa in 2023 to $2m pa in 2030, and is projected to significantly increase visitors to the Kapiti Island. The project also includes investment in: restoring the Tikotu stream, bridge and eco-sourced landscaping and, in artworks, such as carved pou and sculpture to help to tell the significant history of the area. It will provide a critical biosecurity service to ensure the protection of the flora and fauna of Kapiti Island. The visitor Gateway will enable the community to tell its history and story to visitors and locals.
Concerns such as climate change, rising sea levels, carparking, accessibility, flexibility of operations and impact on local business operations in the immediate area have been addressed in the design process.
The business case has been investigated and the fiscal impact on ratepayers is minimal with central government underwriting 50% of the capital cost of the project.
“The cost to the ratepayers is minimal over the life of the project. The Board is very conscious of the fiscal pressures on rate payers and local businesses and has confidence that this is a good business decision that will benefit the entire district,” says Neil Mackay
The Board has been heartened by the level of support that the project has, including full endorsement from local Iwi: Ātiawa ki Whakarongotai and Ngāti Toa Rangatira.
“The site of the Gateway is the original entry point to our rohe and district and original landing point of our ancestors. This new facility provides a place to share stories from the significant history of the site and the wider area. It will also be a place where visitors will feel appropriately welcomed while being exposed to our unique stories of Māori and European settlement in the area.”