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Growing Well And Enhancing Our Open Spaces – Have Your Say On Future Kāpiti

Kāpiti Coast District Council wants to hear from the community on what it means to ‘grow well’ as the district prepares for population growth of about 32,000 people over the next 30 years. That’s roughly equivalent to doubling the populations of Paraparaumu and Raumati.

Consultation opens today (19 October) on both the Council’s proposed approach to growth and its updated open space strategy.

“We want to hear from the public on what matters most in their vision of a ‘future Kāpiti’ and how we can take advantage of this anticipated growth,” Kāpiti District Mayor K Gurunathan says.

Mayor Gurunathan says Council has to plan a future for Kāpiti that meets the needs of the district’s children and future residents, responds effectively to challenges like housing and climate change and meets the requirements of new government regulations.

“Housing in particular is challenging the whole country at all levels. Councils and communities need to be flexible in adapting to evolving government policies such as today’s cross-party proposal to allow increased housing density in our cities. While Council looks at what it means for our district, we need to press ahead with looking at how we deal with growth locally and over the longer term.

“’Growing well’ means different things to our iwi partners and different sectors like business, our rural communities, families, and youth. We want to be able to see our future growth through all these different lenses then plan for a future that reflects their varied priorities and aspirations to create a thriving environment, vibrant economy and strong communities.

“We need to plan boldly but holistically so that growth enhances our district and enriches our community.

“Growth can be positive. It can provide the scale to support a fuller range of services like hospitals and tertiary education facilities. Done well, it can also help us respond effectively such as by increasing the supply of affordable housing through greater density.

“Council recognises that some people may be apprehensive about our community getting bigger, but we also have to plan for the future in a way our children and future residents will thank us for. That’s why we want people to have a say on where, when, and how we grow, and how we harness the benefits of growth,” Mayor Gurunathan said.

“Public feedback on our proposed approach to growth will help Council develop a growth strategy to retain the things people love about our district, like the village vibe, while delivering more housing and transport options, protecting and improving our natural environment, making low carbon living easier to achieve, and providing greater opportunities for our young people,” Mayor Gurunathan says.

Managing future growth and our valuable network of open spaces are closely linked, which is why we are talking about both at the same time.

“Kāpiti’s open spaces have shown their enormous value to the wellbeing of our community throughout the pandemic.

“The provision and enhancement of these spaces is guided by our open space strategy. The draft updated strategy outlines a vision for a diverse and cohesive network that supports the connection of the community to the environment and enhances the mauri or essential vitality of both. It will help to make sure that we have the right spaces in the right places and that we take care of them for generations to come.

Consultation on both topics runs from 19 October-19 November. Council won’t be holding face-to-face public meetings under Alert Level 2 so get more information about the alternatives and have your say online at haveyoursay.kapiticoast.govt.nz.

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