Kāpiti Mayor K Gurunathan says a newly- released Kāpiti Island Gateway plan is a big opportunity — and it’ll have a two and a-quarter million dollar price tag for the community.
A concept design for the proposed Kāpiti Island Gateway building and visitor centre shows a single storey 235m² building, with decking and a new bridge over Tikotu stream.
Council to decide this week
Next Thursday, 28 May, the Kāpiti Council will consider an application to the Provincial Growth Fund for half of the total $4.46 million cost.
The Gateway building is set to be located at the northern end of Maclean Park just south of Tikotu stream.
Increase in costs post-Covid
Mayor Gurunathan says subject to an increase in costs post COVID-19, the cost of the Gateway is estimated to be around $4.46 million — with 50% sought from the Provincial Growth Fund.
But he clakims The economic revenue of the Gateway and Kāpiti Island tourism in year one is estimated to be $5.91 million.
The Mayor adds: ““This is a big opportunity for Kāpiti, one that’s not likely to come around again anytime soon.
“If we are successful in securing this funding it will significantly enhance the visitor landscape and create local employment opportunities through the construction phase and then ongoing for the tourism sector.
“This site is part of our tūrangawaewae with some extraordinary history and stories to be told and celebrated. Stories of importance to Māori and Europeans alike.”
Ratepayers to pay — but opportunity must be taken
“While we understand this will require a funding commitment from Kāpiti ratepayers, we cannot afford to let this opportunity pass us by,” says the Mayor.
Chair of Gateway Governance Group and former Tourism Board Chief Executive, George Hickton, says there is a need to green-light the project now.
“This will be a shot in the arm for Kāpiti — providing jobs, supporting the domestic tourism sector in the short-term and setting us up in preparation for the return of international tourism once travel restrictions have been lifted.”
Mr Hickton also says: “We gave the architects a detailed set of criteria drawn from community consultation for the Maclean Park Development Plan and input gathered from mana whenua, Department of Conservation, the Kapiti Boating Club, Underwater Club Kapiti, Coastguard Kapiti, Kāpiti Island concessionaires and the Paraparaumu business community and other key stakeholders.”
The selection panel for the plan comprised of representatives from Ngāti Toa and Te Āti Awa, Department of Conservation, Council and independent Chair, George Hickton plus two independent architects.
‘Welcome addition to Maclean Park’
Acting Group Manager Place and Space, Alison Law, says the preferred concept would be a welcome addition to the ongoing development of Maclean Park.
“This includes seeking views on the name of the Gateway building and how we tell the stories and rich cultural history of the area and its people, this is a former pā site, alongside the conservation story of Kāpiti Island to help inspire more visitors,” Ms Law says.
Subject to Council approval on 28 May, the Provincial Growth Fund application will be lodged at the end of May/early June.