Council appoints new team to ‘Elevate Ōtaki’
Maximising Ōtaki’s future economic development opportunities is the goal of a new community group set up by the Kāpiti Coast District Council to lead and advise on the best use of a $300,000 funding package established to help the community prosper from the Peka Peka to Ōtaki Expressway.
The ‘Elevate Ōtaki’ group, chaired by Ōtaki Ward Councillor James Cootes, will work with the Kāpiti Coast District Council and the New Zealand Transport Agency to help achieve the positive economic outcomes for the local community.
The fund has been established by the Council and the Transport Agency as part of the Expressway’s construction through the area.
Councillor Cootes says the nine members of the Group, who’ve been selected from local community volunteers, come with a wealth of experience and will work collaboratively to identify and leverage the opportunities that exist to promote and develop the special nature of the Ōtaki area.
“We’ll be focusing on how we can elevate Ōtaki to the next level. We want to build on our community’s strengths and bolster Ōtaki’s reputation as a truly thriving community with a busy retail centre that is a destination in itself,” Councillor Cootes says.
The Council will provide project and administrative management support to the group through its economic development team. The Council will hold the funds and ‘Elevate Ōtaki’ will make recommendations on how the funding should be applied over the next five years.
The group’s broad expertise includes destination marketing, promotions, events, retail, the arts and commerce. Members of the group are:
Councillor Angela Buswell, Christine Papps (Ōtaki Community Board Chair), Hanna Wagner-Nicholls (destination marketing specialist), Ian Carson (Ōtaki Promotions Group), Heather Hutchings (Kāpiti Chamber of Commerce) Joshua Housiaux (experienced project engineer/manager), Libby Hakaraia (Māoriland Film Festival), Sam Pritchard (industrial/commercial retail) and Mark Rudings (business start-up specialist).