Kapiti Coast mayoral candidate Gwynn Compton is calling on the Kapiti Coast District Council to come clean with the community over its proposal for a Kapiti Island Gateway Centre at Paraparaumu Beach that’s being put forward to the Provincial Growth Fund.
Gwynn Compton’s call follows a survey by the Paraparaumu Beach Business Association which indicated overwhelming support (93 percent) for a much smaller building rather than the previous options investigated by Council, which had been costed at up to $15 million.
“There’s a real concern in the community that we’re going to be presented with a fait accompli for a Kapiti Island Gateway Centre that’s much larger and more expensive than what the community wants or can afford,” says Mr Compton.
“With the Council having previously investigated options costing up to $15 million, and the Provincial Growth Fund only likely to contribute part of that cost, there’s a huge risk ratepayers are going to be asked to stump up millions for something that’s not what we wanted and that we can’t afford.”
With applications to the Provincial Growth Fund also needing to be able to demonstrate they are supported by stakeholders, Gwynn Compton says that relying on limited engagement from a small group of stakeholders nearly six years ago simply doesn’t wash when it comes to demonstrating that the community is behind a proposal.
“When nearly 93 percent of the Paraparaumu Beach Business Association’s survey respondents support a smaller visitor centre and biosecurity check-in facility than what Council is believed to be putting forward, it reinforces the need to be upfront and open with the community and make sure whatever proposal is going before the Provincial Growth Fund and Minister Shane Jones has genuine community support, especially before even more money is spent progressing the proposal,” says Mr Compton.
“The Paraparaumu Beach community agrees that a visitor centre and biosecurity check-in facility for Kapiti Island is needed. But at the same time, there’s a desire to ensure that whatever is built is fit for purpose, doesn’t negatively impact our beachfront, doesn’t detract from the stunning views out to Kapiti Island, and is affordable for ratepayers.”
Gwynn Compton is also questioning the Council’s priorities at Paraparaumu Beach, with the lack of any new public amenities block at Maclean Park until 2032 and the polluted state of the Tikotu Stream being high on locals’ minds as issues needing urgent attention rather than a new Gateway Centre.
“The toilet block at Maclean Park and the disgusting state of Tikotu Stream are endless sources of embarrassment for Paraparaumu Beach. Local business owners are constantly hearing from visitors about the state of Tikotu Stream which is frequently filled with rubbish, while the public toilet block is badly dated and no longer up to the task of catering for the large number of visitors to the area, especially during the summer months. The largely cosmetic improvements Council recently announced to the toilet block just won’t cut it for meeting Paraparaumu Beach’s needs for the next 13 years under the current proposed timeline for replacing them,” says Mr Compton.
“It’s telling that addressing urgent concerns around community infrastructure and environmental issues are taking a backseat at Council behind the Kapiti Island Gateway Centre, and this perfectly illustrates the need for a fresh, community-led approach at Kapiti Coast District Council.”
For interest here are the full Results of the Survey on the Kapiti Visitor Centre:
Question One shows overwhelming support for a “Small Iconic Building” 92.99% voted YES
Question Two shows that the community does NOT want the KCDC led larger building
Question Three asks for comments and 119 people chose to make comment – here is a small selection….
- Stop this out of control Kidd spending
- A well designed building that can be extended but fits the space budget and purpose now must be a better work for all. We don’t need more debt.
- It’s important to have a proper biosecurity area. I have been on one trip to Kāpiti Island where the operators (I won’t name them) joked about us checking our bags for stowaways such as giraffes, but didn’t enforce it. Also, we are lacking a proper visitor centre. We need to retain the boating club, with its carpark, so I wouldn’t support an option that significantly encroaches on that area.
- it is a beach community keep it that way
- money should not be wasted on things to impress, but only what is needed, mindful of citizens needs for safety and practicality of things such as access.
- Council Debt is already out of control. No additional money should be borrowed,, Rate payers are being fleeced and it needs to stop.
- Keep it small and purposeful to start and grow it if required later. It needs to be done now.
- We need to do more for the residents of our community and having a iconic building and stream rejuvenation would be great
- The idea of a place where visitors can go to find out about local adventures and places to visit and make bookings for services is awesome but it is important to keep the tone of Paraparaumu Beach and not build an oversized eyesore. We don’t need to cater for hundreds of tourists at one time.
- The Council needs a reality check – stop spending our hard earned money with little thought and at no expense spared attitude, there is no money tree in my back yard, I have to do without sometimes to make sure I pay all my rates, water bill etc.
- Part of the beach charm is that it’s not overdeveloped and shiny. A big building is neither wanted nor needed. We’re no Whitianga or Paihia, and nor should we desire to be.
- more rate payers money going down the drain. the council is only interested in looking after a small portion of the community not a wider portion they are not looking after the people who actually pay their wages!! the rate payers! the home owners!!!!
- Keep it within the kaupapa of the area . that area is not for large buildings … look around. , fit with the image
- The large building will be invasive & out of character with the general feel of the waterfront . Big NO !
- KCDC is carrying far too much debt
- It needs to be discussed openly fist😤
- Don’t let the council waste any more money.
They are profligate. KCDC is wilfully wasting ratepayers money
- Can you also close MacLean street to traffic to create a pedestrian space with link to the park & your proposed building
- Reign in KCDC spending. Engage/involve Kapiti Business ideas
- Kapiti is a lovely community – making better use of the board shed area is important, but it must reflect who we are. Small, quirky and friendly!
- A small tasteful building fits in with Kapiti ambience and community – and one that can be maintained within the local budget. A large building would be totally out of place and is completely unnecessary in Kapiti
- I think we need to think with a fiscally prudent mindset. If you can get a community led project going that will benefit the community, add value to the economy of Kapiti and the local economy, then it is likely that the logistics of maintenance and ongoing costs will outweigh ‘big ideas cost big money’ theory! Locally supported means buy in you can’t purchase!
- Openess honesty and transparency. Let’s hope KCDC embrace this going forward.
- We have a highly indebted council, and a motivated and capable local community – let’s save money, build a better lower-impact building, and build community all at the same time…
- Committing to a large expenditure which will disrupt the present area in return for a revenue which is ultimately very limited cannot be fiscally responsible
- I personally believe that we only NEED something to do the job to meet the needs that is ready in the near future. Not something extravagatant that takes up too much space from our natural environment and takes away the natural beauty of our land. The stream does need work. I do fully support the Smaller iconic building.
- I pefer the larger project- BUT anything will be better than current position.
the larger project should not be KCDC led – purpose built chaitable trust or similar to drive this.
- We do not need a huge fancy building that is going to impact adversely on the area. We do need a small smart area as a gateway to Kapiti Island. It detracts from the natural beauty of what people are going to see if we have a multi mill dollar building. How difficult can it be to put up an office area with reception. One of those buildings with the high glass windows letting in plenty of light.
- Why do powers that be have to always change things and not always for the best. Isn’t it lovely spending other people’s money!
- KCDC way out of community thinking
- This sounds like a great community project. It doesn’t need to be a huge building. Have walked the Kapiti island track its a very special place.
- Keep it small and maintainable don’t over spend then end up chasing your tail
- Kids leave the historic boating club alone