Our job in a nutshell
Council’s job is a big one. Every day, your local council works to deliver the infrastructure and services that keeps your community ticking – so we’re taking you on a crash course of what we do and why we do it, meeting our communities’ current and future needs for good-quality local infrastructure, public services, and performing regulatory functions. We’re also responsible for the wellbeing of all people in our district.
Our vision for our community is a Kāpiti with a thriving environment, vibrant economy, and strong communities. You can read more about this at Our vision and direction.
In 2019 the Government reintroduced the four wellbeings into the Local Government Act 2002, which governs how we work. This reflects the role of local leadership to promote the social, economic, environmental and cultural wellbeing of people and communities.
What we do
- Access and transport – Putanga me te waka
- Coastal management – Whakahaere takutai
- Stormwater – Wai āwhā
- Water – Wai
- Wastewater – Wai para
- Sustainability and resilience – Toiūtanga me te manawaroatanga
You might know the inspirational quote ‘It's not the destination, it's the journey’ from Nana’s toilet wall, but our Roading team focus on both.
We maintain all public roads and footpaths in our district, except State Highway 1. We make sure you have safe infrastructure and access to get where you need to go, and help our communities to be connected. Our maintenance work – tar sealing, chip sealing, obstructions, road markings, sumps, sweeping and unsealed road grading – is a constant balancing act of competing priorities and budget. Read more about our Roads.
A major ongoing focus for our community is how to respond to the effects of rising sea levels and storm intensity. Our goal is sustainable management of our coastal environment, which means maintaining Council-owned seawalls and rock revetments as long as it's practical, and facilitating beach protection project.
We’ve established Takutai Kāpiti, our community-led coastal adaptation project, to help our community become more aware of potential coastal hazards. We want to empower you to take part in developing options for adapting to coming change. Find out more at Coastal adaptation.
Our water system includes the three waters – drinking water (water supply), wastewater, and stormwater, and the assets and services supporting each of these.
We're responsible for supplying safe water to approximately 20,000 connections across Kāpiti, and managing 350 kilometres of sewers to take it away. Our network can manage 4,700 million litres of wastewater per year.
We also manage water run-off from our urban areas to protect our waterways, ensure water quality and reduce flooding. Find out more about our Waters.
Central Government is transforming how the three waters are delivered in Aotearoa New Zealand as part of its Three Waters Reform Programme. This is a big deal as it will significantly change the way critical water infrastructure and services are delivered in our district from July 2024. You can read more about what's happening and what it will mean for our district at Three Waters Reform.
We make sure accessible, effective and efficient waste management options are available to our community, deliver waste minimisation education and provide closed landfill management.
In Kāpiti, kerbside household rubbish and recycling collection is not covered by your rates. You may choose to arrange and pay for your own collection with an independent collector, or manage your own rubbish and recycling by reducing waste, composting or going to the transfer stations.
Your choice means you only pay for the rubbish you produce.
Waste is a part of our daily lives, but if we minimise waste it’ll cost us less for collection, and our landfill sites will last longer and produce fewer greenhouse gases.
We help educate our community about waste minimisation, and manage grants to increase the range, scale and number of waste minimisation projects across our district.
We are a member of the Wellington Region Emergency Management Group that coordinates Civil Defence and Emergency Management services for the nine councils in the Wellington Region.
During a local emergency, we can activate our Emergency Operations Centre (EOC). The EOC is staffed by Council staff who gather intelligence; undertake planning, operations and logistics; support welfare responses; and keep our community informed.
While we’re here to support our community and help with recovery, your immediate resources in an emergency are your community and the preparations you’ve made before the event.
- Tangata whenua
- Community support – Ngā hāpai hapori
- Governance – Mana whakahaere
- Economic development – Whakawhanake umanga
We value our partnership with iwi, and aim to embed tangata whenua values and aspirations into the sustainable management of our district. Te Whakaminenga o Kāpiti, a partnership between Council and mana whenua, is one of the longest lasting partnerships between tangata whenua and local government in Aotearoa.
Read more at Te Whakaminenga o Kāpiti.
We provide housing for qualifying older persons and have 118 units in 10 locations throughout Kāpiti.
We work with Kāpiti community groups and support community-based projects, programmes and events that contribute to positive social outcomes and community wellbeing and development for our people.
We recognise the individuals, groups and organisations that help make Kāpiti a great place to live through our annual Civic and Community Awards.
Economic development is more than just a snazzy way of saying we support our business community. When our local economy thrives, our community thrives thanks to more jobs, better wages, new innovation and more community investment.
So, what does Council do to in this space? We have a strategy focused on growing skills and capability, supporting our key sectors, seizing new opportunities and positioning Kāpiti as a destination to visit, work from, and play in. We also grant funding to support major events and Māori economic development.
- Parks and open spaces – Nga papa rēhia me ngā papa
- Recreation and leisure – Ruhanui
- Community facilities – Whare tapere hapori
One of the best things about living in Kāpiti is our beautiful parks, and the walking trails, cycleways and bridleways that showcase our beaches and dunes, leafy river tracks and coastal forests.
The wide range of parks, reserves and open spaces we look after for our community includes 16 parks with field markings for winter and summer sports, used by sports clubs and recreational users.
We're also very fortunate to have more than 40 playgrounds in our district, which helps build community connectedness and keeps our tamariki active.
All parks and reserves are looked after by Council staff. This means regular mowing and tree trimming, planting, and renewals and upgrades of things like paths, bridges and amenities.
We also manage a great network – more than 100 kilometres – of cycling, walking and bridleway trails.
It’s a big job keeping our open spaces safe and accessible for people of all ages and levels of fitness.
We provide recreation and leisure facilities, services and programmes for the health and wellbeing of our community.
If you’re craving a dip, we have three aquatic facilities (two indoor and one outdoor), and two splash pads. We run range of classes, events and swimming lessons to help build fitness and confidence in the water. In total there were 317,197 pool visits over the 2020/21 financial year.
If a cosy corner and a good book is more your style, we operate libraries in Ōtaki, Waikanae, Paraparaumu and Paekākāriki. We also provide online access to library services, resources and the arts.
We provide facilities and services to support to a healthy, active and involved community. We have community centres, memorial halls, a rural hall, sporting pavilions and meeting rooms for groups to use for leisure, recreation, sport, cultural, social, and educational activities.
Planning and regulatory services
- Districtwide planning – Mahere ā-rohe
- Regulatory services – Ratonga whakaritenga
- Animal management
We shape Kāpiti’s development through rules and guidelines in our District Plan that ensure sustainable management of our natural and physical resources. The District Plan outlines how land can be used and subdivided in Kāpiti, and our desired environmental outcomes. We review it every 10 years.
We face significant district planning costs in the future, largely because central government has amended legislation and issued new national policy statements, which require us to review our District Plan.
We have and will continue to experience growth, because Kāpiti is a great place to live. Where and how will we build to support this growth? We must carefully plan to protect the things we love most about our home.
We provide regulatory services to ensure Kāpiti is a safe, healthy environment and a great place to live, work and play.
While we often don’t make the rules, it’s our job to administer, enforce and record processes and regulations set out in legislation on behalf of government. This includes things like building control, environmental health, food safety, alcohol harm reduction, animal management, noise management, trade waste licensing, resource consents, designations and compliance.
Not only does this make us pretty popular at barbecues and parties, it keeps us pretty busy. Our teams responded to 13,035 regulatory-related service requests in the 2020/21 financial year.
We processed 1,193 building consents and carried out 8,546 building inspections. The Compliance Team carried out 422 three-yearly residential swimming pool barrier inspections, with 239 follow-up inspections.
There were 8,356 known dogs in Kāpiti in the 2020/21 financial year. But it’s not just doggos that keep our Animal Management team busy seven days a week, 365 days a year.
Roosters, horses, cattle, goats, pigs, peacocks (and peahens!) – if it’s wandering or causing a nuisance or hazard, our team is ready to respond.
- Corporate – Paheko rangapū
How we do it
To guide our mahi (work) and make sure we manage our budget and ratepayers’ money responsibly, Council works to detailed plans. Our Long-term Plan sets our direction, our financial and infrastructure strategies, and our budget for the next 20 years, with a detailed focus on the first three years.
Following extensive consultation with our community and our iwi partners, Council adopted our Long-Term Plan 2021–41 on 24 June 2021. This 20-year plan is about investing for resilience and growth. In the first three years alone, we plan to invest $225.3 million. The plan outlines an ambitious programme of mahi (work).
We review the details of the long-term plan each financial year and adjust them where needed. The first year of the long-term plan is year one. Years two and three are reviewed during the annual plan process, and can include public consultation if we’re looking at making large adjustments. The annual plan outlines what Council agreed to for the relevant year in the LTP, and any changes.
We produce an annual report every year, looking at our actual performance compared to what we set out to do in our long-term plan and annual plan. The annual report is a formal account for our communities of the decisions Council makes and our activities during the financial year.
Consultation and the balancing act
Shaping the Kāpiti we want for the future needs all of us to get involved and have our say.
We’re keen to hear from our communities on a range of projects, strategies and bylaws – but these opportunities won’t all look the same. At times we’ll be after your thoughts or ideas to help shape our work as we develop options or progress work; at other times we’ll invite more formal consultation on draft documents and proposals.
Community input drives so much of what we do, and we hear from residents in lots of different ways – surveys, formal consultation, service requests and of course through your elected representatives – it all goes in the mix.
Sometimes it can take a while for plans we’ve gone to the community about to come to fruition. A good example of this is the Maclean Park development plan, which was developed in 2017 and is being rolled out in stages. It would be great to be able to build things when plans are fresh in the mind, but the realities of funding and planning make delivering these things a longer process.