Collaborative approach enables regional plan for growth
Following 18 months of collaboration between central and local governments and mana whenua, a draft Framework for planning future growth across the Wellington region will shortly go to elected members for endorsement before community consultation.
The Kāpiti Coast District Council has worked in partnership with relevant government agencies, councils across the region and iwi to develop the draft Wellington Regional Growth Framework to create a long-term vision for how the region will grow, change and respond to key urban development challenges and opportunities in a way that gets the best outcomes across the region.
“Working collaboratively has been really constructive as it allowed us to consider and plan for factors beyond our district boundary lines that we know will ultimately lead to better outcomes for our people as we grow,” says Kāpiti Coast Mayor K Gurunathan.
“This work explored how and where we would accommodate growth across the region at much higher levels than our existing strategies and plans envisaged. Each partner has been able to contribute their piece of the puzzle that together gives us a holistic picture of the challenges and opportunities ahead.
“There are some key aspirations of this plan that will resonate particularly for our district like providing more housing choice which will make housing more affordable and liveable, unlocking new areas for housing and urban development by investigating a major west-east multi-modal corridor, addressing the challenges of climate change, and delivering transformational housing and development outcomes for iwi/Māori.”
The Framework identifies potential areas for development across the region with consideration to the range of natural hazards and other constraints to the design and location of future urban growth the region faces.
In Kāpiti, this includes two new areas where the potential for future residential development would be investigated – south of Waikanae and in the broader Te Horo and Peka Peka areas.
Particular focuses of the Framework include increasing the density of residential development around our transport hubs and applying the National Policy Statement on Urban Development objectives to remove barriers to the supply of land and infrastructure, and make room for cities to grow up and out.
“The Framework aims to increase housing supply, and improve affordability and choice. Here in Kāpiti, our average household size is actually smaller when compared to the rest of the Wellington region and New Zealand. Almost 30% of us live alone, while around 65% live in one family households,” says Councillor and Housing and Social Wellbeing portfolio lead Rob McCann.
“While forecasts show growth across all age demographics, Kāpiti is expected to continue to gain older persons, couples without children and young families moving here for our lifestyle and relative regional housing affordability.
“This affects the types of housing we need to build. As we grow, we must make better use of our limited greenfield land by utilising medium and higher density housing, and ensure new development is well connected through sustainable transport networks and community infrastructure.”
Council’s current growth strategy, the Development Management Strategy, was published in 2007 and work is currently underway on a refresh.
“A regional framework allows us to see the big picture but we still need a detailed plan to manage sustainable growth and development on the Kāpiti Coast into the future, while balancing the district’s social, cultural, economic and environmental needs and aspirations,” says Mayor Gurunathan.
“You’ll hear more from us on this work early next year and as we work with our community on the district’s next Long-Term Plan.”
Subject to agreement from project partners, community consultation on the draft Wellington Regional Growth Framework is likely to happen in the first half of 2021. For more information and to view the draft Framework, visit www.wrgf.co.nz