12-Storey Flats On The Way For Paraparaumu

Fancy living on a 12th floor apartment in central Paraparaumu? asks Jeremy Smith.

What about six floors up around the Waikanae rail station, and the Paraparaumu station, or four stories at Waikanae Beach.

An extra 30,000 people

 These are the possible outcomes given a tick by Kāpiti councillors in the council’s district growth strategy for an extra 30,000 people in the next 30 years.

And the councillors supported it because of what one councillor called the “housing crisis” and another  the current “housing catastrophe”.

Bu the councillors did not exactly have a free choice.

The National Plan

Looming behind their decision is a document called The National Policy Statement on Urban Development which has what might be called anti-nimby clauses.

And council staffer Jason Holland, referring to opposition to infill and higher rise from Waikanae beach, says this policy statement has teeth.

He said claiming to safeguard the special nature of an area won’t stop this kind of high-rise development. 

This sets a very high bar  -you could not easily override this document, Holland said when Waikanae councillor Jocelyn Prvanov asked what could be done.

“ They want  government to move the dial, and move it towards changes which enable higher density in existing urban areas.”

The protection previously provided by district plans would be much harder to invoke, Holland said.

Holland says the public statement refers to urban development in a number of designated centres, including the general Wellington area, meaning Waikanae beach is an urban area.

Nga Hapu o Ōtaki’s Kirsten Hapeta wanted to know if growth could be delayed in Ōtaki.
Raukawa marae is in an urban zone and she said having four to six storey buildings around it  “was a little bit scary.”

She said the proposals for Ōtaki would displace “more of our people”.

And Ōtaki councillor James Cootes said it was a case of the government coming in over the top and imposing rules. “Two storeys for taki was enough.”

Oh what joy; developers will be able to buy residential properties, demolish them and put up apartment high rises. This would completely change the character of the areas they are erected in. Not that the steady conversion of arable land into suburban sprawl is a welcome prospect either.

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