According to NZME’s OneRoof Waikanae’s a suburb although we’ve always called it a town. Also according to OneRoof, it’s one of 14 residential suburbs which form the wider region.
The ‘suburb’ implies that the Kapiti Coast has a downtown or Central Business District and outside that is a collection of suburbs. But is that how residents see it? Do people see the Paraparaumu town centre as Downtown for all of Kapiti? We suspect that there is too much parochialism for that, particularly for people who live in Otaki or Paekakariki.
Incidentially, NZME, that’s a thumbnail picture of Wellington on your page, not Waikanae.