Plans to transform the Paraparaumu town centre remain firmly in the Kāpiti Coast District Council’s sights, with work progressing over the next few months to upgrade the Kāpiti Lights area and establish Rimu Road as the main street.
Mayor K Gurunathan says the Council has been working with the community, tāngata whenua, local businesses, landowners, government agencies and others since 2014 to develop a vision and a plan for transforming the district’s two largest town centres.
“The Kāpiti Expressway is here and we need to ensure our town centres remain attractive places for people to do business, invest and spend time.”
The Council’s Kāpiti Lights upgrade is being delivered in partnership with property owners in the Kāpiti Lights area. The upgrade aims to make the area more pedestrian friendly and will help create a setting that supports new and existing businesses to thrive.
Chairperson of Kāpiti Lights Body Corporate Iride McCloy says this is an exciting time for Kāpiti residents and visitors to have both the Expressway opening and the commencement of the town centre transformation happening in 2017.
“The upgrade for Kāpiti Lights has been many years in the making, and the outcome has been one of collaboration with the Council in partnership with Paraparaumu businesses which has brought this wonderful project to fruition,” Ms McCloy says.
The Kāpiti Lights upgrade will make it safer and easier for people to move from the transport hub through the Kāpiti Lights area and Coastlands and out onto Rimu Road. The installation of a signalised pedestrian crossing on Rimu Road outside Coastlands newest retail pod will also help the Council achieve its vision of establishing Rimu Road as the main street of Paraparaumu.
Coastlands Director Richard Mansell says Coastlands has worked to integrate its new retail pod into the Council’s transformation plans for Rimu Road.
“We are happy to work with the Council towards the community goal of a truly integrated town centre where people can work, live and play,” Mr Mansell says.
Transforming the civic precinct is also a key feature of the Council’s masterplan for the Paraparaumu town centre. This may involve landscaping to soften the boundary between Kāpiti Primary School and Iver Trask Place, the establishment of recreational areas and an outdoor learning environment and a shared path to take people from Kāpiti Road through to Rimu Road.
Infrastructure Services Group Manager Sean Mallon says the Council has been discussing opportunities for enhancing recreational and learning experiences in the civic precinct and better integrating Kāpiti Primary School into the town centre with the School’s Board of Trustees and the Ministry of Education for some time.
“We still have some work to do but it’s great to have the school on board and we look forward to sharing our thoughts on how this area could be developed with the community over the next month,” he says.
Kāpiti Primary School Principal Martin Hett says the school is pleased to be collaborating alongside the Council to transform the area.
“This is an exciting opportunity for everyone involved and we welcome the move to provide more shared path facilities and create an outdoor learning environment which will benefit our students, whanau and the wider community,” Mr Hett says.
The Council is also advancing plans to transform the Waikanae town centre this year. Work to progress the planned upgrades of the Waikanae Library and Mahara Gallery and make the section of the existing state highway between Te Moana Road and Ngaio Road local road is in development.
Mr Mallon says the Kāpiti Coast community will have an opportunity to view the Council’s vision and plans for the both the Paraparaumu and Waikanae town centres later this month, along with the Council’s work to make the most of the opportunities the Kāpiti Expressway brings to the district.
“We’ll have a display in Coastlands from 14 to 19 March and a pop-up-shop in Mahara Place in Waikanae from 21 to 25 March and we’re keen for people to pop along and tell us what they think.”
3 March 2017