Green light for the Kāpiti Gateway Centre, Te Uruhi
Kāpiti Coast District Councillors today voted seven to four to proceed with the Gateway Centre which will be built in Maclean Park, Paraparaumu Beach.
Kāpiti Coast District Mayor K Gurunathan said Councillors listened carefully to the arguments both for and against the proposal and concluded that their decision to proceed with the project is in line with the overwhelming evidence that the Gateway Centre will deliver positive social, cultural, environmental and economic benefits for our district.
“As well as improving biosecurity procedures for Kāpiti Island, the centre will become a tourism hub for our whole district. It will be a place where our rich cultural heritage is celebrated through art, carvings and story panels. It will improve the experience for visitors to Maclean Park and will provide access over a new fully accessible bridge and path over Tikotu Stream and to and from the beach,” said Mayor Gurunathan.
“Council also voted to accept local iwi, Te Ātiawa ki Whakarongotai and Ngāti Toa Rangatira, gracious gift (koha) of a name - Te Uruhi. Council values the historical significance of the Gateway location to Kāpiti iwi and the opportunity to work in partnership to tell their stories,” said Mayor Gurunathan.
An independent review of the facility’s draft proposal was carried out by business consultants Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC). The objective of the review was to challenge the proposal and ensure it was thorough and robust. The review concluded that a gateway facility would promote and enhance Kāpiti Island as a tourist activity, provide a focus for the Kāpiti district as a tourist destination, and promote other attractions and activities in the region. PwC recommended Council should support and agree in-principle to fund and build the facility.
“Councillors voted to proceed today because they’re confident the completed Gateway Centre will deliver many benefits for our district and will be a place that the community will be proud of,” said Mayor Gurunathan.
“We are comfortable with the results of PwC’s independent assessment of the proposal and have directed staff to proceed with the project. Council will consider at a later time what facilities Te Uruhi will accommodate.”
Council will now enter a contract with the Government to accept the funding for 50% of the estimated $4.46 million project cost from its COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund.
Subject to the detailed design process and the necessary resource consents being obtained, construction could start as early as July 2021 with an expected completion date of June 2022.
The Mayor acknowledged the enormous amount of mahi staff had invested in bringing the Kāpiti Gateway to the table and thanked members of the project governance group, including iwi representatives, the Department of Conservation, members of the Kāpiti Economic Development Kotahitanga Board, Electra and others who generously gave of their time to support development of the Gateway proposal.
“This is an opportunity to create a step-change for tourism in our district and enhance the wellbeing of our community. Concerns of elected members, stakeholders and the community have been heard and the plans have been shaped to incorporate them.
“The foundations are now in place and Council is 100 per cent committed to working with our iwi partners, DoC, stakeholders and community representatives to take the proposal from concept to reality,” said Mayor Gurunathan.