Your Council

Improving the Waikanae town centre

Construction works | A cultural thread | Improvements to Mahara Place |
Making State Highway 1 a local road | Supporting economic and community development |
Staying up to date

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 revitalising and improving the Waikanae town centre. Further improvements will follow.

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’ walkway 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.

Construction works

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.

A cultural thread

Fraters Service Lane

Artist's impression of area connecting to Fraters Lane

Plans to upgrade the Waikanae town centre are underway. This year we’re progressing our plans to improve pedestrian connections to and from the transport hub to the town centre.

Te Āti Awa Town Centres Working Group has continued to provide guidance to us on our town centres project. Our discussions have helped inform a programme of works that will embed the cultural identity, history and heritage of Te Āti Awa ki Whakarongotai in the Waikanae area.

Together we’re now focusing on the cultural thread project which includes better integrating Waikanae town centre with Whakarongotai Marae. This involves creating gardens for people to sit and relax, paving and improved street lighting to anchor the Marae to the old SH1 via Frater Lane.

Stage one of this project concentrates on the area that takes you from the Greater Wellington Regional Council car park, past the Marae through to Mahara Place. Further stages of the cultural thread will be carried out as the upgrades to Mahara Place and connections to the railway station are progressed.

The first stage includes:
  • resurfacing with distinctive materials, making sure paths make moving about easier for all ages and abilities 
  • working with local Iwi to effectively incorporate the Marae into the town centre, increasing its visibility and acknowledging its importance as a site of cultural significance
  • improving street lighting, planting and places to rest and relax.

The upgrade of the SH1 entrance to Frater Lane will happen separately, as part of the NZ Transport Agency's investment in the town centre to make SH1 a local road.

Designs for the cultural thread are currently being finalised. We hope to start work in April and expect the improvements to take around four months.

Improvements to Mahara Place

Concept designs for the upgrade of Mahara place will be progressed through to the detailed design stage mid-2018, taking on board community consultation and feedback to date. The sculpture garden will remain as part of Mahara Place.

Pop up park - We’ve had great feedback about the pop-up park in Mahara Place which includes astroturf and seating. Over the coming months we’re planning to extend the current park with more turf, and put some turf and seating down in Mahara laneway. These spots are proving popular for events, and provide space for you to socialise, entertain or rest and relax. 


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. 

NZ Transport Agency SH1 Revocation project website

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 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.

View the Waikanae masterplan, which includes the adopted design for parking approaches.

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.

To view the latest Marketview Report that measures the economic impact the Mackays to Peka Peka expressway has had on the local retail environment in the Kāpiti Coast district, and among local residents please visit our Economic Profile page.

Staying up-to-date

Talk to your community board, follow our Facebook page and e-newsletter Everything Kāpiti for updated about our work to build a connected, accessible and thriving Waikanae town centre.