- What do you consider to be the biggest opportunities and threats facing Kapiti over the next five to ten years?
RESPONSE – Kapiti could be a destination City, like the gold coast. We have strong arts culture, history stories and Kapiti Island complementing a coast line that could see Kapiti developed to a world-wide tourist destination. Big challenges will be housing the people we need to work in our tourist industry. We also seem to be bogged down with bureaucracy hindering development and slowing down growth. I would be looking for opportunities to speed things up within that bureaucracy by calling Council operations to account for deliverables against key success measures of every project undertaken. The review outcomes need to be swiftly actioned so as to support the growth and pressure on the operations of Council in the future.
- 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?
RESPONSE- I am heartened to see activity that is external to Council operations driving messages about ED. “If you want something done, do it yourself.” Groups like KEDA, +50 Entrepreneurs, Arts groups and Chamber of Commerce should all be points of authority that the Council should engage and support freely by removing roadblocks for these organisations to flourish and achieve the goals they have for Kapiti. Possibly having the accountability turned on its head and making council accountable to the external groups would change the mind-set and culture and increase the speed of achieving those goals.
- Will Kapiti have the infrastructure needed to support projected population growth? If not, what are the key priorities for infrastructure development?
RESPONSE – I don’t have a totally clear view or opinion of this yet but initially I would say our water availability needs to take the next step – A Dam. I have mixed views about rail electrification. It might be making it too easy for our talented people to leave for jobs in Wellington when we will need them here but the tide could turn on rail for me. Currently my view is it is a “nice to have” but not yet an urgent priority.
We have an aging waste water system that could fail earlier than we have prepared for in the LDP.
With the fibre installations moving along well and the deployment of 5G starting, I think Kapiti will be well connected.
I am disappointed the bypass north lane reductions. We are going to need all the roading well-built to sustain rapidly increasing trucking that will be required to support ED north of Kapiti/Otaki
- 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?
RESPONSE – I would like “Open for Business” to be demonstrated as easy engagement for all Kapiti community that have business with Council elect and operations – I want to see proactive and collaborative support from Council operations. I am dismayed with the number of stories I hear from my contacts and friends (accepting they are anecdotes – but where there is smoke there is fire) of delays and struggles with draconian regulations and inconsistency of responses and answers. I am also sensing that there is a lack of community engagement in successes of council which tells me our communication and acknowledgement back from the community is not sufficient. It is all well and good to be telling a story, but if they are not listening and Council is not measuring uptake of information, then there is room for complaints and rumour spreading via social media due to ignorance.
- Does Council have a role to encourage businesses to relocate or establish here? If so, what kind of support should Council offer?
RESPONSE – Absolutely. It is vital to growth, employment and Kapiti brand. Council can support business establishment through simplification of the processes faced by business, relaxing nonsense restrictions that slow business development and promoting Kapiti business capability far and wide. If we can be seen as a tourism hot spot, we will see business’s that are “tourism dependant” attracted to the region. If there can be some branding of Kapiti as a holiday destination it could be like Gold Coast – i.e. well known as a holiday destination in summer. This might encourage hotels and holiday activities to spawn. We could expand the trams right up the coast for example. Trams are an attraction for cities like Melbourne, San Francisco and CHCH.
- How Important is it to tell the “Kapiti Story” and how would you go about supporting a project to do this?
RESPONSE – In my early exposure to this, I feel the Kapiti Story is not well communicated to or understood by our residents. From listening to feedback from them myself leading up to the election they are telling me that stuff is not happening that I know has happened. The “Kapiti Story” is a good term to adopt but not all the community are reading our book and the ones that don’t are the ones that are complaining. It needs to have good outcomes in each trimester that are acknowledged by the community as successes for that term. The project could include annual Council meetings through the district specific to project updates and successes, but I understand that KCDC does not currently have a PMO as reported by Wayne in the report.
- 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?
RESPONSE – What does “well patronised mean” For me it will be about assessing the options and affordability of them as well as weighing up that “patronage” as a portion of the whole community. Personally I don’t like spending a lot of someone else’s money for the benefit of a minority unless it is a health and safety issue or a basic service provision (water, sewage, safe roading etc.) So a Community Centre in my terms might be a “nice to have” that we can’t afford
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?
RESPONSE – Our Economic opportunity (aligned to my comment about our untapped tourism opportunity) would see me supporting this. I think Kapiti definitely needs it and I would be very keen to be part of the team working on what is the best outcome for a return on ratepayer’s investment. The goal is that it supports the Kapiti Tourism brand as I mentioned previously. It needs to be made a priority – I am currently not sure of how the “machine” operates to get this done. Everything we do towards it needs to be in the charter and have clear measures of success. This action should be inclusive of the Raumati swimming pool opportunity. (as per Q9)
- 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?
RESPONSE – I am a fish man. I had tropical fish as a kid. I love fish tanks and large aquariums. I would love to see this redeveloped into a major tourist destination showcasing our whaling history and our marine reserve as well.
- What are your views on the protection of our coastlines and key coastal infrastructure?
RESPONSE – Our coast is a contributor to our economic well-being. I believe we should not be pushing any “climate change” panic buttons at significant ratepayer expense when we have no real certainty of the benefit. As Ian Malcom (Jeff Goldblum) in Jurassic Park said “life will find a way”. I do believe humans adapt to changing conditions but plants bids and animals don’t do so well fighting the ecological changes to the environment on their own. I think that if coastal changes are apparent, we make the right decision closer to the time to mitigate rather than spending large amounts of other people’s money to mitigate something we are not certain will actually happen. While a wall might be the best option in one place, a retreat may be better somewhere else. We cannot pollicise this. I would love to work out how we can ban fishing trawlers from cleaning out our recreational fishing areas.