1. What do you consider to be the biggest opportunities and threats facing Kapiti over the next five to ten years?
Wearing my the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) lense, I consider the investment in transport infrastructure to be critical. Yes the opening of new Expressways will draw people and businesses, and GWRC and Government investing in public transport to match the increased demand needs to keep up with the population increase and the increasing patronage.
Hence why I pleased that GWRC has developed a compelling Business Case recently presented to government agencies presenting options for further purchase of trains to support the Kapiti Coast – namely trains to replace the Capital Connection and the Wairarapa trains.
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?
GWRC has worked with councils in the region to develop the Wellington Regional Investment Plan. As a core function of councils, and in partnership with government, we must make wise choices about how we invested public money which support economic prosperity in our respective districts. This agreed Investment Plan highlights the need to coordinate the region’s local government focus on housing, resilience and transport, economic enablers, and visitor attraction. This recently completed work provides a strategy that has the necessary buy-in from councils, but also provides the scope for each district or city to eel they still have autonomy over their choices.
3. Will Kapiti have the infrastructure needed to support projected population growth? If not, what are the key priorities for infrastructure development?
I refer to my answer to the first question, and say we need to be planning now for the increasing demand in public transport.
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?
5. Does Council have a role to encourage businesses to relocate or establish here? If so, what kind of support should Council offer?
Regional council is doing it’s part in terms of public transport services and investment – and we want to grow that. An important but overlooked part of our work is in our flood protection work which provides protection for communities – particularly Waikanae and Otaki. Without GWRC doing their job businesses can’t have the confidence to relocate in to these communities and invest in setting up their premises.
6. How Important is it to tell the “Kapiti Story” and how would you go about supporting a projectto do this?
I believe the Kapiti Story has a strong place in pitching to the rest of the region and country that there is pots of reasons to live, work and play on the Kapiti Coast – whether as your new home and workplace, or as a recreational destination. GWRC might not have the flashed part of the puzzle to build on that story, but delivering accessible public transport services, and flood protection works, and improving the water quality in our waterways is fundamental. Add to this mix our shareholder roles in CentrePort and the Westpac Stadium.
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?
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?
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?
GWRC has an interest in the protection of Kapiti Island and of the Kapiti Marine Reserve, so I support a Marine Discovery Centre recognising educational potential, let alone the tourism potential. I havent formed a view on how it could be funded – but I see it as a regional asset.
10. What are your views on the protection of our coastlines and key coastal infrastructure?
GWRC has convened the coastal erosion working group, and brining in other councils across the region to work together on a shared approach that will morph in to a community led approach. Meanwhile GWRC has taken the responsible approach on coastal erosion along the QE Park coast and already begun consulting with the community on a proposed managed retreat of this public area and the public owned assets