- What do you consider to be the biggest opportunities and threats facing Kapiti over the next five to ten years?
The biggest threat we face is the impact of climate change. We have a $220m stormwater problem which will take at least 40 years to solve. Groundwater rising and coastal inundation have social and economic impacts. We need to commit to our carbon neutral goal and plan for adaptation.
The completion of the expressway projects will be both an opportunity and a challenge. House prices have already seen significant increases and this impacts on our diversity as a community. This also provides opportunities for positive growth, and we need to plan for that.
- Economic growth has benefits for everyone living in the district. Kapiti needs a sound economic development strategy. How would you go about ensuring the strategy is developed and implemented and who should be involved?
We need to involve stakeholders and the community in our Economic Development. We need to push the accelerator on ED, and really empower KEDA and others to get the district moving forward faster. In the meantime, we’ve developed infrastructure to support ED, including the supporting the Kapiti Performing Arts Centre and Town Centre redevelopments.
- Will Kapiti have the infrastructure needed to support projected population growth? If not, what are the key priorities for infrastructure development?
Kapiti is better off than many areas with plenty of headroom in the water supply and land set aside for a dam. We are well serviced locally by the offramps that were negotiated during the planning stages for the expressway. We need to finish the town centres, stick to our stormwater strategy and continue our open space development.
- Council has a goal of being “Open for Business”. What does this term mean to you and what can Council do to ensure it achieves this goal?
Open for Business means that people find it easy to set up business, and the Council facilitates businesses and projects. Though we have strong results in terms of our official feedback, anecdotally we could still do much better.
- Does Council have a role to encourage businesses to relocate or establish here? If so, what kind of support should Council offer?
Council needs to help people negotiate the red tape. We need to promote the district effectively. We need to make sure planning rules take business’ needs into account.
- How Important is it to tell the “Kapiti Story” and how would you go about supporting a project to do this?
This project is already under way. We need to progress this to encourage visitors and businesses to come to our district. One of the challenges is ensuring iwi are a key partner in telling our story.
- The future of the well-patronised Kapiti Community Centre is in doubt due to the discovery of leaks and mould in the building. Do you believe Kapiti needs a Community Centre? If so, what needs to happen to ensure we have one?
The Community Centre is a vital hub. We need to continue to ensure it remains open, and in the longer term plan for community ownership and operation of the centre.
- There has been much debate over the proposed Kapiti Gateway project. There are varying views on the need for a Gateway, the proposed cost and the proposed location. How would you work towards a solution that is acceptable to the various stakeholders, including Council, the community, retailers, visitors and affected parties?
We need to involve iwi and the community in the discussion about the gateway project. It should be something which reflects our identity and which is a key destination. I’m unable to comment on a proposed cost or location, as I’m not aware either of those have been proposed yet.
- The Raumati Swimming Pool complex has been lying idle for some time. It has been proposed that the complex be used to develop a Marine Discovery Centre, which would have both local and national significance. Do you support the development of such a Centre? How should it be funded? Who should lead this project?
I think Raumati Swimming Pool would be perfect for a Marine Discovery Centre. We should set up a trust to fundraise for the project, targeting every possible funder.
- What are your views on the protection of our coastlines and key coastal infrastructure?
We need to protect vital infrastructure for the next few decades. In the longer term we need to consider managed retreat policies and relocation.