Kapiti’s 40 kilometres of sandy beaches, mostly sheltered from the prevailing westerly wind by the eight kilometres stretch of Kapiti Island, border a district that runs from Paekakariki to Otaki. Its historical, cultural and business activities attract many visitors and it has become a favoured place to live and work.
Access to Kapiti took a major step ahead with the opening in 1939 of Centennial Highway, which runs from Ngauranga Gorge to Paekakariki. It provided alternative access from Wellington and the Hutt Valley via the once-arduous climb over Paekakariki Hill Road.
Good accessibility has been a feature of the growth of Kapiti communities, underpinning Kapiti’s status as a district attractive to visitors and with New Zealand’s second-highest proportion of residents aged 65-plus.
It also enhances the popularity of iconic attractions like Otaki’s historical features and international Kite Festival, Southward Car Museum at Otaihanga, Mahara Gallery at Waikanae, and Paekakariki’s Queen Elizabeth Park with its Tramway Museum, bird hide, US Marines Memorial and the Ramaroa heritage centre that also provides meeting rooms and facilities.
Development of shared pathways has been a feature of Kapiti in recent years, with cycle riders, pedestrians, wheelchair and mobility scooter users using scenic and connecting footpaths.
Kapiti Coast District Council monitors localised issues through its community boards, health advocacy, older persons and accessibility advisory groups.
— Jim Webber