This was held last night in the Waikanae Chartered Club. A total of 21 attended, including a representative of the KCDC, two of the four candidates for the Waikanae Ward (Geoffrey Churchman and Iride McCloy) and Angela Buswell of Otaki who is standing for Mayor and Council. Mr Mitchell of the small Waikanae On One group, which is hostile to Michael Scott and the Waikanae Community Board members, showed up but left after about 10 minutes, even though none of them were present.

The general discussion on Waikanae’s future which preceded the AGM lasted about 2 hours and it’s not possible to do justice to it here, but many points and main issues have been mentioned on the Council website, DW’s Facebook page and this blog.  It’s also relevant to observe again that because of the Expressway, opening in only about 4 months time, the whole Waikanae Beach area west of it is facing a psychological and physical separation from the rest of Waikanae and has its own set of issues.

Some felt Waikanae should define what it is now and what it wants to be.  Perhaps non-members would also like to know what Destination Waikanae wants to achieve apart from stopping the town centre based around Mahara Place becoming moribund after the Expressway opens.   Does it want Waikanae to be a destination for visitors in the expectation that they will patronise local businesses while en route to the natural attractions (Hemi Matenga, the River banks, Nga Manu, the Estuary and the beach), and attract new residents or just the first?  If the latter as well, what is the optimum size for the town?

Ideas from examples of what other towns in similar situations in NZ and Australia have done were mentioned, perhaps the most interesting aspect of the discussion.

Geeveston in Tasmania got particularly enthusiastic mention from one contributor, website and picture below.