The Kāpiti Chamber of Commerce has advocated for sustainable growth and investment in infrastructure, recommending Kāpiti Coast District Council does not take a bigger role in ownership of the district’s housing, nor sets up a Council Controlled Organisation (CCO) in a submission on the Council’s Long Term Plan (LTP).
The Chamber also said that a proposed rethink of an existing design to renew Paekākāriki’s seawall was unnecessary and that the Council should be exploring how it can have a role in the embattled Kāpiti Coast Airport.
The submission on the LTP ‘Securing our Future’ for 2021-41 represents a collective voice for over 300 members of the local business community.
Chamber Co-Chair Monique Leith says the Council is not best placed to be owning and delivering housing and should be putting their time into promoting the development and zoning of land for housing and reducing unnecessary regulations, along with taking a customer-focused approach to building and resource consents.
“We agree with Council’s focus on access to housing and would like Council to be more facilitative of landowners who want to subdivide and build houses. Options include partnering with Iwi and reputable developers to identify land available for housing and supporting the provision of new land ownership models,” she says.
Leith also says the Chamber believes the private sector is the most effective at owning and operating businesses and that a CCO, where a council has the responsibility to appoint at least 50 percent of the board, would not be beneficial for Kāpiti at this time.
“If there is a significant council-owned asset that has the potential for strong and sustainable profits then the Council should privatise this, keeping a minority shareholding,” she says.
Along with keeping the current design for renewing the Paekākāriki seawall, which was put out for community consultation in the LTP, the Chamber is urging the Council to look at how it can support and have a role in the district’s airport going forward.
“Chamber members want Council to explore ways to utilise the land at the airport for the best benefit to the community,” Leith says.
“This could be a mix of housing, industrial, educational and airport facilities and can be seen in other districts where local councils have a role in supporting their regional airport, giving a level of security to the communities they serve.”
Kāpiti Chamber Co-Chair, Jacinda Thorn, says investment in infrastructure is critical in paving the way for sustainable growth.
“We want to see local businesses consistently being given the opportunity to complete vital projects, and use local resources as well. Supporting local has been incredibly important since COVID-19, and we would like the Council to regularly make the most of our local talent,” she says.
The Chamber’s submission has been shared with all members, and the Board also made an oral submission in favour of its submission at the Council LTP hearings on Wednesday. Public hearings and meetings can be viewed in person or online at https://www.kapiticoast.govt.nz/your-council/meetings. The final LTP will be adopted by Council on 24 June 2021.