Raumati-Paraparaumu Community Board members Guy Burns and Bernie Randall have slammed the decision by Councillors to adopt the Otaraua Park Development Plan today.

“The Plan will turn the magnificent green open space, alongside the Waikanae River, into a concrete and asphalt barren landscape costing millions for Kapiti ratepayers.

“According to Council, the land was originally purchased ‘for public use and enjoyment including; sport and recreation, a network of cycle, walking and bridle paths connecting surrounding communities, open space buffer between the urban areas of Waikanae, Paraparaumu and Otaihanga, as well as for its ecological values…an ecological corridor that runs from mountain to sea’

“The original concept has been rejected in favour of a plan that includes a $20 million road bridge over the railway line from the old State Highway as a means of access. This and an amphitheatre, has the potential to cost ratepayers over $50 million in the long term. Already Councillors have committed nearly $4 million to be spent in the next seven years—the tip of the iceberg.

“Also rejected by Councillors, was a suggestion by Fish and Game NZ for an environmentally friendly trout fishing project using an existing pond at the Park. This project would have fitted well with the original vision for the land.

“By adopting the Plan, Councillors have turned their backs on an eco-friendly green development in favour of a regional concrete and asphalt monstrosity.”