Getting ready for growth – maximising opportunities and protecting what we have
With an additional 30,000 people set to make Kāpiti home over the next 30 years and housing and climate change challenges to consider we need to make sure we have the plans in place to grow in a sustainable way.
Soon we’ll be releasing for public consultation draft documents aimed at ensuring we see the benefits of “good growth” while protecting the things we value now.
We know our natural environment and sense of space is one of the things people love about living in Kāpiti and that we need to make sure growth happens in a sustainable way. We also know further action needs to be taken to make housing more affordable in Kāpiti, which means planning for how and where Kāpiti grows to provide for this future community.
In the coming weeks we’ll be asking for public feedback on both a proposed approach to growth in Kāpiti and an updated Open Space Strategy. There are there are lots of crossovers and interconnections between the two and it makes sense to discuss them together.
Both include a 30-year outlook. Each supports Council’s vision for the district and the community outcomes outlined in the recent Long-term Plan 2021-41, and focus on preserving or enhancing the natural environment. Both also consider Te Ao Māori (the Māori worldview) and intend to incorporate kaupapa Māori approaches and concepts to inform and implement final strategies.
The proposed approach to growth addresses things like where growth happens and what it looks like. Increasing housing density around transport hubs, enabling a wide range of development styles to support the diversification of communities and the creation of more walkable communities are among the proposals included in the approach.
These have the advantage of helping with the transition to low-carbon living, and housing affordability challenges. The approach to growth is also informed by national and regional policies and strategies, like the National Policy Statement on Urban Development which requires local councils to plan for growth both upwards and outwards.
The Open Space Strategy is designed to safeguard and guide the provision of open space to make sure we have the right spaces in the right places. When thinking about what open space means many will immediately think of green spaces, parks and reserves and getting back to nature, but it can also include urban spaces like streetscapes and movement corridors for people and wildlife.
Its priorities include continuing the protection, restoration and enhancement of the natural environment, providing diverse open space types to support a good quality of life for everyone and build community resilience, and designing and developing a connected network that enhances use and visitor experience for all ages, ethnicities and abilities. We recognise that as our communities grow, our open spaces play a really important role in community wellbeing.
For now we ask the community to start thinking about the ways you would like to see Kāpiti grow and change over the coming years and how we can achieve the best outcomes for everyone. Keep an eye out for more information in the coming weeks!