Kapiti Economic Development Association KEDA

Chris Turver – Districtwide

Chris Turver – Districtwide


(a) Financially reconciling our place as the District with the second highest level of ratepayer debt against the requirements of a growing population of 53,000 for new and replacement infrastructure

(b) Keeping debt under control by having to say “no” to non-essential projects

(c) Dealing with the fact that Kapiti is on a 40-kilomentre long, low-lying, plain already subject to extreme climatic changes including floods, storm surges, and coastal erosion, and with rising tides on the horizon .

(d) In resource management terms, how to make more land available for housing in ‘safe’ areas not threatened by climate change while protecting productive farming land and environmental values


  • Combining with other local and regional authorities to work with Local Government New Zealand in putting pressure on the Government to share more of the infrastructure costs of growing Districts like ours
  • Spend more time seeking out financial contributors for costly projects and exploring possibilities for public-private partnerships
  • Using the KCDC’s current climate change planning process to engage more openly with ratepayers so there are no surprises (like the coastal LIM report saga) and making sure people understand that, for the most part, there is plenty of time to make considered decisions
  • With more demand for housing, change the rules to permit clusters of more intensive building and high-rise apartments

2        Economic growth planning needs leadership because despite the best efforts of many organisations like KEDA and Kapiti Chamber of Commerce it’s not clear what is being delivered by the 2015-18 Kapiti Economic Development Strategy in terms of specific gains in terms of the four specific targets:  Open for Business, Building Capability, Positioning Kapiti, and Leadership. Is it time now for the appointment of an Economic Development Co-Ordinator, funded by the KCDC, but with terms of reference set by stakeholders, and with clear achievement targets?

3        This is the trickiest question because we know Kapiti struggles to maintain the cost of replacing existing infrastructure and funding new infrastructure.  A while new set of infrastructure costs are about to land on Kapiti with responsibility for maintaining the former SH1 roading through the District. While an interim water supply solution has been found through recharging, it is vulnerable to the effects of climate change to the Waikanae river and, in face of a growing population, the storage dam may have to be accelerated.

4        An easy phrase to roll off the tongue but still an unfulfilled strapline for many local businesses who struggle with red tape, bureaucracy, and delays every time they approach the KCDC for help.  The KCDC’s heart may now be in the right place, it does have legislative and regulatory bureaucracy to work through, and improvement are being made, but a positive ability to deliver “open for business” is still unduly constrained by the world the KCDC lives in.

5        It absolutely does have a role and it’s hard to understand why the KCDC has never actively and openly promoted Kapiti to the business world.  It may boil down to never having the imagination or skills to attempt it but more likely it has not been seen as a priority.  It’s probable the KCDC has taken the first step in encouraging relocation (i.e Police Communications) but there seems to be no co-ordinated plan and that’s what it needs, coupled with response 6 below.

6        Marketing Kapiti’s incredible range of attractions and services will never be effective without a well-coordinated ‘Kapiti Story’ to provide a stimulating framework against which to sell Kapiti.  That means a well-constructed multi-media and social media approach through national and international outlets  to promote different facets of Kapiti life. This is a highly-skilled job and means hiring the best to pull it all together, otherwise…..

7        A multi-use Community Centre is critical for a growing population but let’s first explore all alternative options including possibilities for a new building co-owned by KCDC and commercial interests, blending community facilities with much-needed large conference rooms and business resources.

8        Currently a five-year-old “nice to have” concept with only lukewarm support for the $15 million-plus cost from the KCDC and DoC and no sign of commercial partners.  Rather than go for a grand-slam, let’s first look at what can be achieved incrementally and find a respected champion who can pull threads together and persuade potential stakeholders to get behind it.

9        Great idea from the Guardians of the Marine Reserve and supported on the basis that it uses an existing building (and seawater supply) which has outlived its original purpose and can be adapted to become a valuable crowd-puller for Kapiti.  Readily fundable with multi-funding opportunities from mainstream providers like Lottery Grants Board, Wellington Community Trust, plus funding from DoC and GWRC to support their coastal management strategies, and interested commercial companies. Apart from donating the existing swimming pool complex, the KCDC steps back and a Marine Discovery Centre Trust should be established to lead fund-raising.

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