by Geoffrey Churchman
Last week I met with Glen and Vicky Cooper over the Council’s intended Guru Gateway, a.k.a. the ‘Kaj’. The couple run the Kapiti Island Eco ferry service to Kapiti Island and it was clear that they consider the ‘Kaj’ a huge threat to the viability of their business. I asked how many days of the year they can operate to the island, and in contrast to the full year that the KCDC Chief Executive W. Maxwell and the present Mayor claim, the season is less than half the year — about 150 days.
I suggested that rather than one lengthy article, we post a few smaller ones each dealing with an aspect of this plan. The council intentions involve the removal of 17 carparks out of 32 in the area shown in the photo above. This carpark is usually full during the weekends with shoppers and visitors to the beach.
Below is a letter the Coopers sent last week to all the councilors:-
The Maclean Park Reserve Management Plan 2017 is a document that has been consistently referred to throughout the Gateway Project. In several press releases, in the KCDC website and the submission to the PGF. We would like to know how the recommendations and issues raised in this document around parking are being ignored. 17 public car parks are being removed for the Gateway in its current form. Clearly this carpark is heavily used by the public, when it is full cars do not migrate down to the Boating Club carpark which predominantly remains empty, this highlights the importance of this carpark in its current form to Maclean Park.
The proposition of Kapiti Island visitors paying to park at the Golf Club is another cost that will need to be added to the ticket price on top of the proposed $10 per adult and $5 per child for biosecurity. This is not a cost we can absorb and will result in less visitors to the island. The Golf Club carparking is not public parking, it does not replace the 17 car parks that are being removed.
The Councillors keep referring to this document as public engagement and the strategic plan for the park encompassing the Gateway, the document clearly sets out that carparking is critical as a destination park and at capacity and in fact should be intensified in the northern end of the park. How do you then ignore your own strategic document while using it as a supporting document?
I have attached the document and referred to multiple sections below where parking is highlighted:
Page 19. 6.4 Parking The current parking areas are insufficient to cope with the demand for parking at the reserve…
Page 41 – Project Area A: The Gateway
3. Potential Drivers and Issues
In terms of the overall park and village, the development of a significant visitor facility on this site has the potential to compound emerging issues with parking and access for large vehicles. Park and servicing for this facility needs to be provided and contained within the northern area of the site so as not to adversely affect the recreational values in other parts of the reserve. For this reason, it is recommended that the roundabout area be included within the project area.
Page 45 – Project Area C: Relax & Vista
3. Potential Drives and Issues
Parking provision has been raised as an issue for the township as a whole….. Currently the park carries a significant parking load, and is the only non-time restricted parking close to the commercial area. The provision of adequate and well located parking which is not detrimental to the quality and experience of the foreshore presents challenges for this project area and for the successful park-wide integration of the destination park with the commercial centre.
Can you please respond.
Vicky & Glen Cooper
Kapiti Island Eco