The long-term vision for Waikanae is that the town centre has an arts and cultural focus, and will meet the needs of the surrounding community with local services, community and commercial activities. The historic village connection with the Whakarongotai Marae will be reflected in the development of a ‘cultural thread’ through the town centre. Mahara Place will provide a sense of place that people can strongly associate with and feel part of. Improved pedestrian access and better connections to the railway station will make it easier to get around.
We've 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 improving the Waikanae town centre. $3 million of this is the Transport Agency’s funding to provide improvements to State Highway 1 (SH1) in Waikanae.
Construction works to transform and improve the town centre won't happen overnight and we can't do this on our own. Some of the proposed improvements will require private sector investment and support because we don't own the land or buildings. This means we’ll be focusing our efforts on projects where we have certainty over budgets.
Our masterplans give an overview of the long term improvements planned in our town centres. Some of these improvements also intersect with our Stride n’ Ride Kāpiti Coast initiative and the Transport Agency’s work to make the existing State Highway 1 a local road.
A cultural thread - better integrating Waikanae town centre with Whakarongotai Marae. This involves creating gardens for people to sit and relax, paving and improved street lighting.
Making State Highway 1 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.
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 were considered, and a recommendation went to Councillors on Thursday 15 March. A parallel parking approach was adopted which will provide ten additional parks, and provide better integration of transport modes through the town centre for drivers, pedestrians and cyclists