Economic growth, infrastructure and youth employment are high on the Kāpiti Coast Chamber of Commerce’s agenda for 2017, according to its election manifesto released this week.
The Election Manifesto for the 2017 General Election comes ahead of the Chamber’s ‘Meet the Candidates’ event to be held on the 23rd of August, 7pm at the Coast Community Church, which will be an opportunity for Kāpiti’s business community to put their questions to the candidates for Ōtaki and Mana Electorates.
Heather Hutchings, Kāpiti Chamber of Commerce Chair, says the manifesto is particularly relevant since the Prime Minister singled out Kāpiti as the ‘platform for growth’ for the Wellington Region earlier this year.
“Given this endorsement from the top, we are interested to hear how the next Government will help Kāpiti continue to punch above its weight with economic growth, encourage investment and make the most of our unprecedented opportunities.
“The next phase of the Expressway has begun, and Transmission Gully is on track to be finished in 2020 – now is the time to be having these discussions with central Government. We want to know if they would support a specific Regional Growth Strategy for Kāpiti which includes central government resources aimed at helping us grow; and how they think we can build a strong local economy that attracts higher skilled businesses, ultimately leading to higher wages.
Chamber Co-Chair, Julene Hope, says the right infrastructure needs to be delivered at the right time to enable Kāpiti to grow, and that is why the Chamber is supporting the petition to Parliament asking for a 24-hour, 7-day-a-week hospital in Kāpiti.
“Each year around 40,000 trips are made by people from Kāpiti to Wellington hospital, taking them away from their businesses or employment. As more people choose to live in Waikanae north and beyond, there will be more demand for better local health services. Youth employment is also a priority issue following the launch of Work Ready Kāpiti which is attracting widespread community support.
“Youth employment is not a new problem for Kāpiti, but it’s one we’re addressing with the Work Ready programme, which connects young people with the fantastic employers the region has.
“To take the work of the Work Ready Foundation to the next level, it would be great to have support from central Government,” says Heather Hutchings.
Both National and Labour candidates from the Ōtaki and Mana electorates will be taking part in the Meet the Ōtaki & Mana General Election Candidates.