Your Council

Project FAQs

Answers to frequently asked questions relating to the Town Centres and Connectors Transformation project.

November 2016

Answers to frequently asked questions relating to the Town Centres and Connectors Transformation project.

What is the town centres project?

The project is about transforming Paraparaumu and Waikanae town centres, and improving the parts of State Highway 1 (SH1) within these town centres. We want our town centres to be vibrant, diverse and thriving. The Expressway provides us with a unique opportunity to reshape our town centres and improve accessibility without a State Highway running through the middle.

Why is it happening now?

The Expressway being built has allowed us to plan for local improvements to our town centres and to SH1 when it will become a local road. SH1 (between MacKays Crossing and Peka Peka will become a fit for purpose local road following the Kāpiti Expressway opening. 

What are the plans for Paraparaumu?

Paraparaumu is the district’s centre, yet it lacks public spaces. People have told us it needs a central hub built around the civic buildings, better walking and cycling connections, with areas for children to play and for people to gather. Priority projects for Paraparaumu include:

  • connecting Coastlands and the civic area along Iver Trask Place, alongside new retail buildings fronting Rimu Road opposite the Council building
  • improving pedestrian access to and the amenity of Kāpiti Lights and making that area more vibrant – seeking to improve the flow and safety for people from the railway station through to the Coastlands/civic area
  • capitalising on the opportunity of SH1 becoming a local road to include a crossing between the railway station and the town centre.

Will you be imposing speed limits on SH1 and Rimu Road?

Extensive traffic modelling will be undertaken to help guide decisions on speed limits.

How much money is the Council investing in Kāpiti Lights?

This will be determined once Council has a partnership plan in place with the Kāpiti Lights businesses, and we have a final design. Council is intending to contribute to help make this happen.

What are the plans for Waikanae?

The community has told us it wants quality boutique shopping in an effective commercial area, an upgrade to Mahara Place and the town integrated with the marae. Our long-term focus is on improving pedestrian connections to a vibrant and revitalised Mahara Place, Marae site and transport hub. The main challenge in Waikanae is keeping town centre plans flexible enough to take advantage of opportunities presented by external initiatives like the new Greater Wellington Regional Council carpark, and plans for the library and gallery. The certainty of the Expressway and turning SH1 into a local road means that the first priorities for Waikanae include:

  • projects that relate to turning SH1 into a local road – the redesign of the local road, parking and pavement space in front of the shops on the existing SH1
  • improving pedestrian crossing from the railway station to Ngaio Road, which was a clear priority project when we engaged with the community
  • improving access to the river via the Te Moana Road/SH1 intersection.

Future projects earmarked for Waikanae town centre include:

  • creating a cultural pathway from Ngaio Road through Mahara Place by integrating the centre with Whakarongotai Marae
  • new green spaces connecting an upgraded Mahara Gallery to the library complex
  • turning Ngaio Road into a main street.

Why are you focusing on the SH1 projects in Waikanae first?

Turning SH1 into a local road will happen within two years of the Expressway opening. That gives us certainty around timing and allows us to progress these projects first.

The concept drawings indicate that there will be a lane reduction on SH1 at key intersections in Waikanae.  Is this right?

Our initial traffic modelling indicates this is possible. Future detailed modelling will help inform the final configuration as we progress the detail designs.

Are you reducing the number of carparks at the Waikanae railway station?

Overall, the proposed scheme for Waikanae town centre will increase car parking by around 80 car parks.

What’s happening with the Council’s plans to improve Mahara Place?

Council is working with key parties in the background so that certainty about potential impacts is addressed in work Council will undertake in the future.

What about the bus routes around the Waikanae town centre, will they stay the same?

Council is working with Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) as they review the bus routes. Public feedback is being sought by GWRC in July.

What happens next?

Budgets for an ‘Achievable’ programme of work were approved through Council’s 2015 long term plan meaning we are now in the implementation phase.  We have engaged a team led by Brian Perry Civil to manage the design and construction phases of the project. Implementation on the first projects has begun. Work will be carried out over a 14-year programme of activity.

What is the time frame for implementation?

We have drawn up implementation time frames for both Paraparaumu and Waikanae.

It is important Council stay flexible to take advantage of any private developments.

You can view Paraparaumu Town Centre time frames here or Waikanae Town Centre time frames here.

Why is the implementation plan spread over 14 years?

That’s to fit within Council’s borrowing cap and to manage rates increases. Affordability was the highest ranked criteria we received back from the community. Council can’t do this on its own and is working with businesses and investors to deliver the vision for our town centres.

Will my rates go up?

The main advantage of our implementation timeline is we can deliver what the community wants within existing budgets and still manage to deliver all projects in a staged manner by 2028.

What are the benefits we can expect to see from improved town centres?

A plan and direction that will help all parties (Council, land owners, business and developers) to work toward a common goal of developing welcoming town centres. Council cannot do this on its own. Other benefits include increased resilience, improved accessibility, and creation of places where people want to spend their time, invest, work and play.

Is the detail of the concepts for transforming the two town centres fixed in stone?

No. They are based on work done to date with the community to develop a vision and plan for transforming and improving our town centres. They are our best take on what will transform our town centres now. However, this is a 14-year project with detail design for the multiple projects happening over several years.  We are deliberately allowing flexibility within the concepts to allow for future opportunities and your feedback.

Will there be further opportunity to have a say as the implementation plans are firmed up?

Yes. We will be talking to the community and other interested parties as we go through the design phases of each project.

What about upgrades for the other town centres? 

This project initially focuses on Waikanae and Paraparaumu. There is budget for Ōtaki identified in the long term plan as part of that section SH1 changes. Other town centres have been upgraded in the past decade and future work, as always, needs to be considered alongside rates affordability.