Waikanae Town Centre transformation gains traction
Draft concept ideas for the transformation of Waikanae town centre have generated another 220 comments with the feedback period open until Monday 1 September.
The latest comments were received during the recent open day attended by around 300, who came along, viewed the information and chatted with Council representatives.
Michael Scott, Chair of the Waikanae Community Board says the open day was extremely well attended by a large cross section of people.
“The whole day was very positive. It was really interesting to see the majority of comments being made were on the ideas for Mahara Place and how excited people were by some of these.”
There were mixed comments on the idea of a shared space for vehicles and pedestrians in Mahara Place with overwhelming support for the lawn and play area ideas. Other comments mentioned adding a stage to Mahara place for performances, having more outdoor seating and encouraging market stalls within Mahara Place.
Mr Scott says people seem to be accepting of the fact that this is a long term project but they also want some immediate action in Mahara Place.
“I’d like to think we can do both. Perhaps we can get some initial runs on the board in Mahara Place and keep in mind that there is a timeframe for doing other things that is dictated by the highway handover and there are development ideas that are longer term. This is something we will be discussing with Council.”
Tony Lloyd Waikanae Ward Councillor says people he talked to were keen for the Waikanae town centre to have an arts focus, as a real point of difference. “They liked the idea of enhancing the arts, maybe by extending activities outside of the gallery and into Mahara Place.”
Councillor Lloyd says there was a 50/50 split on people’s views about Ngaio Road becoming the main street, with those in favour highlighting the importance of making it interesting and attractive. Concerns focused on the loss of car parks and increasing retail space when there are already empty shops within Waikanae.
“Comments in support of the main street idea suggested that retail should be provided at ground level with apartment living on top. This would increase the number of people within the town centre, creating vibrancy.”
Other ideas suggested to date include:
- providing a pedestrian connection from the train station to Mahara Place
- focusing on the new entrance to the town at Te Moana Road
- creating a second railway crossing in addition to Elizabeth Street
- focusing on the cultural features of Waikanae to create a destination
- the need to enhance the night life in Waikanae to attract younger people.
The Waikanae Community Board and Council are also looking into commuter parking options with the Regional Council with the aim to free up parking for shoppers. Consideration is also being given to looking at bus routes to better service Waikanae Beach during peak travel times.
People have until 1 September to comment on the draft concepts. This will help inform the final concept design which will be presented to the community early next year for a further round of consultation. Information on the concepts is available on Council’s website at www.kapiticoast.govt.nz/town-centres
Council also wants to know what the wider community views as important when looking at designing towns of the future. These are things like accessibility, affordability and sense of identity. People can do this by going to the ‘What is important to you for your town?’ section on the town centres webpage. Feedback closes on Monday 1 September.
The Waikanae town centre transformation is part of the wider Town Centres and Connectors Transformation project, which is also looking at the future shape of Paraparaumu town centre, Kāpiti Road and the parts of State Highway 1 that run through the two towns.