Town centres are at the heart of our communities. Our goal is to create vibrant, diverse and thriving Waikanae town centre that is easily accessible, reflects Waikanae’s unique local character, provides a sense of place and attracts visitors and investment alike.
The Council has established a programme of work to contribute to this goal. It involves physical construction works and work behind the scenes to facilitate and support economic development opportunities and build community resilience.
Over the next 12 to 24 months around $5.6 million will be invested in transforming and improving the Waikanae town centre. Further improvements will follow.
Transforming the Waikanae town centre
Construction works to transform and improve the Waikanae town centre will not happen overnight and we cannot do this on our own. Following community consultation, a 14 year programme of work has been scheduled and funding has been agreed in our FutureKāpiti Long term plan 2015-35 for town centre improvements.
Some of the proposed improvements will require private sector investment and support as the Council does not own the land or buildings. This means we’ll be focussing our efforts on projects where we have certainty over budgets.
To read about our construction works to transform and improve the Waikanae town centre click here.
Making SH1 a local road
Within the next 24 months SH1 through the Waikanae town centre will become a fit-for-purpose local road and responsibility for the road will transfer from the NZ Transport Agency to the Council – this process is known as 'revocation'.
The NZ Transport Agency will be investing approximately $3 million in the Waikanae town centre as part of their works to revoke the old SH1. This will involve construction works within the existing road corridor to reduce SH1 to a single lane structure, intersection improvements, better east-west connections and improved public amenity.
As part of the NZ Transport Agency’s revocation works, the Council is taking the opportunity to improve the SH1 entrance to Mahara Place. This project will be delivered as part of our town centre improvement works and will involve removing and relocating the stone wall to a suitable place to be determined by the community in the town centre, and planting.
SH1 parking approaches
In making SH1 a fit-for-purpose local road we have an opportunity to increase the number of car parks on SH1 between Elizabeth Street and Ngaio Road in response to traffic volumes and changes on the road. Two workable approaches have been identified – one provides for 32 parallel car parks and one provides for 41 angle carparks. No decisions have been made at this stage and if you would like to provide feedback on your preferred option we encourage you to email firstname.lastname@example.org
Supporting economic and community development
Our physical upgrade of the Waikanae town centre is underpinned by a programme of activity that aims to foster and support economic development and encourage a strong sense of community.
The Council is working with local businesses and community groups to facilitate and support opportunities for promotion and for bringing more people into the town centre. We’re also providing research to help businesses and investors to make informed decisions.
Through our visitor attraction work, we’re looking at ways to highlight Waikanae township in our marketing materials and leverage the opportunities provided by Kāpiti’s major events programme, such as the Arts Trail, to encourage more people to visit the town centre.
Over the summer months we will be piloting a “summer programme” in Mahara Square to encourage more people to visit the town centre. We’ll be establishing a temporary lawn complete with seating, planting and a stage area for people to utilise over the next few months and welcome ideas on the types of activities that people would like to see taking place.