Like many Kāpiti residents, Kath Kelly and her family got to know Waikanae through many years of family holidays. She remembers the freedom that the wide-open spaces provided her and her brothers.
Kath and her husband have made Waikanae their home since 2013 and are enjoying being very active in the community at Waikanae Beach.
Kath’s career has been in Insurance and Finance where she honed both her organisational and technical skills as well as her ability to work alongside people. In her customer service roles she was known for going the extra mile for customers and her ability to listen to various viewpoints and come to a sensible solution
She brought these skills to her voluntary role in the Waikanae Support Hub which operated in Mahara Place until funding restrictions meant the service had to close. She became a strong advocate for people who needed help and she was able to see clearly the needs of the community.
In this role Kath built a strong team of volunteers who provided much needed support for the residents of Waikanae – of all ages and stages. From providing information on things like Disabled Parking Permits and other MSD related topics which are electronic now, to organising the Arthritis NZ and other interesting people to come and speak.
Katherine supports the infrastructure projects that need to be completed so Kāpiti can offer the best environment for everyone.
Her particular interests lie in two main areas: the support and facilities for young and old.
She wants to see a new library which would include a Service Hub which is not vulnerable to inadequate funding. The Hub could help forge connections with other agencies and social support groups. Kath says this is critical to support those in the community who are not able to access services digitally. A new Library would have the flow on effect of bringing people back to Mahara Place and revitalising the retail sector.
Her second area of interest is in the services available to youth in the Kāpiti region. This needs more research and connection with the very valuable services already provided by KYS. She wants to see these activities expanded to provide more access to music, technology and arts.
Kath is a natural collaborator and throughout her work life has been able to work alongside colleagues to develop innovative and affordable solutions. She is courageous, and also has a reputation for being able to deliver tough messages with honesty.
As a member of the Waikanae Community Board she would add a clear voice for Waikanae, her passion for this community and enthusiasm for life would ensure she gets the job done.