Mayoral Candidate Kapiti Coast
Ward Candidate Paraparaumu
Q:-1. What do you consider to be the biggest opportunities and threats facing Kapiti over the next five to ten years
:- Transmission Gully. This represents both. Great opportunity for access to the district re tourism, manufacturing/business bases and also community access to health support offered in Wellington and Porirua. BUT the flood gates will be open, do we have the infrastructure to cope, townships identities will need to be protected, we don’t want to become a big suburb of wellington. Neither do we want to become the Biggest Coastal Bypass in the country.
:- The Economic Development Strategy. This also represents both. It cannot be understated how important this is and I think it is a very misunderstood process. A plan is required for the growth and development of our District. We don’t currently have one! It will be what ensures RESULTS and ACCOUNTABILITY which is what is needed around policy implementation. BUT if it is not implemented and implemented well, we will find ourselves floundering around during the largest growth cycle this community is ever likely to see.
– Development of water based activity AROUND Kapiti Island.
– Entrepreneurialism, an attractive lifestyle matched with area access will build on this sector that is already here and alive .
-Development of our Arts and Creative sector.
-Development of targeted cluster groups such as manufacturing, arts and creatives or other groups, that are firing on the Kapiti Coast, as identified through the coming Economic Development implementation process.
– Building around the age friendly communities initiative that council has supported but not acted on.
-Enhancement of our townships uniqueness that gives the Kapiti Coast its awesome personality.
-Leading by example around addressing climate and sustainability issues.
– Non implementation of all of the above, but especially the Economic Development Strategy.
– Our Council not being clear that councillors are in the governance role and Council in a delivery role.
– Lack of pro-active Mayoral and Councillor leadership in moving The Kapiti Coast as a district forward.
– Loss of our uniqueness through a wave of unchecked development that has no plan.
-Climate related issues that will become increasingly relevant to us as a Coastal Community.
Q:-2. 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?
A:- The Economic Development Strategy needs to be embedded into Council moving forward. It powers the development and growth of both business and community in our district. It has to be independent. Front and Center of this is The Governance and implementation as it binds it all together. This cannot be controlled by council, our community needs to take ownership. It’s not about one group but a collection of relevant stake holders that will also take ownership of the process. It needs to be funded and ongoing.
A ED Program Manager needs to be in place.
In my view KEDA and the Chamber were crucial in getting the ED refresh back on track for implementation. We were fortunate to have an expert that KEDA was able to put into that process. If we are serious about this ED Strategy hitting the ground running, then this person needs to be fully engaged/employed by this group so that we have an expert that is familiar with process that has occurred up until now, has a connection to this community and the skills to get the job done. In my opinion, and I know of others, it would be a travesty and a hugely missed opportunity if this did not occur. It would be one of the singular most important things that could be done as part of ensuring the development and implementation of the ED strategy.
3. Will Kapiti have the infrastructure needed to support projected population growth? If not, what are the key priorities for infrastructure development?
A lot of our current infrastructure is dated and there are some potential big bills coming up. We need to explore our options. A big influence will be around the Climate issues and how they will impact on current and future infrastructure.
Pressures on infrastructure via projected population growth should be covered cost wise by the development fees charged. If not, why not? Are these fees actually being used for this purpose?. We need to have a clear understanding of what costs are and where the money is being spent. This reporting needs to be ongoing and acted on.
Climate issues will trigger unexpected pressures, these will need to be addressed and factored into plans as we move forward.
We should be looking at what others are doing which is working and look at ALL options that could be of use for our community that are currently working elsewhere.
4. 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?
A:- I, and I think the business community, over the years, have been lead to believe that this is about helping business owners, businesses that want to bring opportunity and growth to our area, current business that wants to expand, developers etc….. and this isn’t happening.
Being open for business is not about just having the doors open and hopefully a good experience with our front line staff, although this is part of it. It’s about creating certainty around growth options for the district and the people that want to invest here to achieve that.
Council should Aim to roll out the red carpet, not the red tape.
Treat the business community as a customer.
One of the purposes of local Government.
To meet the current and future needs of communities for good-quality local infrastructure, local public services and performance of regulatory functions in a way that is most cost-effective for households and businesses. (Local Government Act 2002, section 10 (1)).
Council needs to engage and listen to the business community, prioritize the issues presented and fold them back one by one to achieve a business friendly environment.
5. Does Council have a role to encourage businesses to relocate or establish here? If so, what kind of support should Council offer?
A:-Yes it Does. It needs to be open for business in it’s truest sense. It needs to help create certainty for potential incoming investment. Information needs to be simple and readily available. Processes, especially around consenting need to be transparent and fit for purpose.
Councillors also have the role of being ambassadors for the Kapiti Coast with the Mayor leading this. We need to identity key cluster groups that are currently winning on the Kapiti Coast, support and grow them by encouraging relocation, developing support , growing connections and relationships and securing funding if possible. We need to be working together as one united district.
6. How Important is it to tell the “Kapiti Story” and how would you go about supporting a project to do this?
A:-What is the Kapiti Story? Yes this needs to be told ….and what a great resource that would be.
This should be a part of the delivery of the Economic Development Strategy.
This could be a multi-sided story – our community story, our township stories, cultural story etc…
But we do need a central story that the district can identify with and can be used for marketing
7. 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?
A:-I do believe Kapiti needs a Community Centre, it needs to be our Community heart. Community needs to be leading the engagement and involvement in whatever solution eventuates in partnership with council.
I have been involved as an observer and participant with this process over the past 14 odd months that saw our Community centre taken over from the trust in place, into statutory management by KCDC. This was a very heavy handed process that lacked consultation and support for the trust that was in place.
This approach is not uncommon and has to stop.
Where were our current councillors that should have been champions in this area?
With the I-site being closed, maintenance and health issues arising around the current space, a community call for a potential indoor recreational space etc…. the answers need to come from the community. The land was gifted, Community funds raised to build and then the building gifted to council in trust to maintain for the community ….has that happened?
There are all sorts of potential pathways around this question.
I propose that a working group/committee be formed around this issue. It may be part of a wider portfolio around community that has stakeholders and councillors leading.
We need to start with a blank canvas and look at developing an option that is community lead and forward thinking to community need and requirement.
8. 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?
A:- By being realistic about it and communicating.
All energies seem to be focused on this being a large project that will sit in The Kapiti Boat Club.
There needs to be clear definition about what is actually required.
A Gateway to Kapiti island is required in the soonest. This should be a small fit for purpose solution that meets stakeholder requirements, In this case a demarcation point for tour operators and Bio-security for DOC to our world renowned nature reserve that has a visitor cap of about 30,000.
A Gateway to the The Kapiti Coast could take many forms. I’d like to see it based around the Paraparaumu Beach area, not necessarily defined by one space but part of a welcoming experience that sets the tone for a Kapiti Adventure.
Manaaki Kapiti, the tourism development group currently sitting in the Kapiti Chamber of Commerce needs to be empowered to be a key stakeholder in this process and decision. Again it should not be council driven, but community lead with councillors, in partnership with council.
9. 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?
A: Yes I support it, I think it is a fantastic idea.
I have been involved with this concept, conversation and development since its inception.
I believe that we should have a Marine coastal theme running throughout our district as part of our identity being a coastal community. It would be a draw to bring visitors to the area, but supply an amazing facility for those that live here. Whale song,
Funding is not being asked for, there are a lot of avenues that could be explored for this.
Council is being asked to supply the building. This needs to be picked up as part of the economic development strategy and supported.
Community needs to lead this, the Guardians of the Kapiti Marine Reserve have been instrumental in moving the conversation forward, but this group now needs support from relevant stakeholders, championing by councillors in partnership with community and council.
If elected I will be be involved.
10. What are your views on the protection of our coastlines and key coastal infrastructure?
A:- This is a big issue coming, and it is coming. A working group/committee around KCDC declaring at climate emergency needs to be formed and an approach of embedding this into all future council decisions taken.
Advocacy between KCDC, Regional Council and Central Government is essential and we need to be a part of those discussions and plans.
Some things will be protected, some will not. We have to be prepared to look outside the square for some of our solutions. But we won’t be doing at alone.
We need to front foot this otherwise we will find ourselves overtaken by events beyond our control.
Authorized by M R Halliday Te Horo Beach Kapiti Coast