Kāpiti plots course towards COVID-19 recovery
Kāpiti Coast District Council has set out a course towards the district’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic through the Kāpiti Recovery Plan, a community blueprint for building back better.
The Plan, developed to meet the requirement for local governments to plan for recovery in their districts following an emergency event, was approved by Council in October and aims to address the multitude of initial and emerging impacts of the pandemic on the Kāpiti Coast.
“If COVID-19 has taught us anything, it’s that we work best when we work together. This plan guides our initial focus areas and actions with our community over the coming years,” says Kāpiti Coast District Mayor K Gurunathan.
“Kāpiti is diverse and vibrant, with distinctive differences between the communities that make up the district. While our diversity gives us strength, it also means that the impacts of COVID-19 will be greater in some communities and sectors, and our recovery support needs to reflect that.
“The Kāpiti Recovery Plan aims to reconnect our communities, reactivate our economy and restore our social wellbeing. Building on existing work, taking a holistic approach to wellbeing, forming strong partnerships and focusing on our climate and resilience are our guiding principles.”
The Plan sets out 42 short and medium-term actions for Council and partners that strengthen partnership and leadership, enable resilience in our economy and non-government organisations, encourage loving local, grow skills and capability, ensure our people are warm, healthy and safe, and inspire connection and kindness.
There are also 16 actions suggested in the longer term as starting points to be further explored and refined. The Recovery Plan was adopted by Council as a living document to acknowledge that the impacts of the pandemic are still unfolding and recovery efforts need to be responsive to changing needs and to feedback.
“Council has re-purposed $250,000 for recovery-related activities in its 2020/21 Annual Plan and the delivery of many of the short-term actions are already underway. This includes our popular Love Local campaign encouraging Kāpiti to shop locally which reached over 81,000 people on our social media channels,” says Natasha Tod, Group Manager Strategy, Growth & Recovery.
“We have transitioned the Te Newhanga Kāpiti Community Centre to a community services hub that brings our not-for-profit community sector together to support connection and collaboration, and provide a single point of contact for our community when seeking support. We have welcomed the Kāpiti Community Foodbank as our anchor tenant.
“We also have of a bumper line up of summer events planned for the new year aimed at helping our community reconnect with each other and the outdoors again, and make the most of the district’s public spaces, facilities and services. Getting out, seeing each other and enjoying nature will be a huge boost for our community’s wellbeing.”
“The Recovery Plan looks a little different from our others – as much as it’s a plan for the future, it also tells the stories and experiences of our community through the pandemic, and celebrates the kindness and generosity of our people over the last nine months,” says Mayor Gurunathan.
“I’m humbled by our collective response in uniting against COVID-19 but it’s also what gives me absolute confidence that we will recover and we will thrive. We are all in this together.”
Read the Kāpiti Recovery Plan and more about Council’s work planning for recovery here.
Watch James Jefferson, Civil Defence Emergency Lead Controller for Kāpiti discuss the local impacts of COVID-19 and planning for recovery here.