Mayoral Musings – 1 July 2024

1 Jul 2024, 9:00 AM

Kāpiti Coast Mayor Janet Holborow

Thursday’s Council meeting saw the approval of our Long-term Plan. The culmination of months of work the plan focussed on resilient infrastructure, creating a financial strategy which reduces debt, and prioritising projects over the coming years.

Like all councils across the country we’re having to deal with cost increases and changes in Central Government direction. We managed to find significant savings, but we’ll be working hard to bring down expenditure over the coming year while still delivering the services our community values.

Thanks to everyone who took the time to give us their thoughts and feedback. We value this input greatly and made changes as a result of what we heard. At the same time, we completed the latest round of engagement for Vision Kāpiti. Over 2500 people have now fed into the Vision. It’s so wonderful that so many people take the time to help us plan for the future.

Also at Thursday’s meeting, we approved a design direction for the Waikanae Library project, Te Ara Whetū. Projects like this are challenging to deliver as costs of materials and construction increase, so it’s good to have an approach which stays as close to budget as possible and re-uses as much of the existing building as we can.

After Thursday’s meeting, it was great to head into Matariki and all the wonderful events which happened across the district. On Thursday night, Paekākāriki School held a magical festival, with music, food, displays and fireworks. 

On Saturday I attended one of the talks at Toi Mahara facilitated by Kowhai Grace where John Baxter spoke about his art and our changing attitudes and relationships in Aotearoa, Gary Fremantle reflected on his curation of John’s work, and Mark Amery provided his insights around the importance of local galleries. There was also a weaving workshop being held in the community space.

As in previous years, it was a big weekend in Ōtaki. On Sunday I popped along to the closing ceremony for Star Glaze Mid Winter Ceramics at the Otaki Pottery Club and the Matariki Ramaroa Street Party. On Friday there had been a large turnout for Matariki on Moana, with headline acts Anika Moa and Troy Kingi and on Saturday a night market at Ōtaki College.

These were just some of a host of celebrations across the district which happen during this period, including the launch of the Maramataka Calendar last week. The calendar is created by the Rongoā Collective, and supported by Council through Te Whakaminenga (our iwi partnership forum). 

For many Matariki is also an opportunity for some family time, and for remembering those who have left us. However, we choose to celebrate Matariki, it’s certainly a much-needed recharge in the colder months of the year, and a valuable opportunity for connection and reflection.