Wainuiwhenua is a community-led group working with local iwi to achieve the best future uses of surplus Transmission Gully land for the Kāpiti District.
Following meetings in December and February 2019, a steering group was established to advocate for community needs and the possible purchase of the Perkins’ and related lands becoming available after construction of Transmission Gully. This group has met several times this year. After consultation with Ngāti Haumia ki Paekākāriki, the project is being called Wainuiwhenua.
At just under 600 hectares, these lands form the hinterland around the village and are about five times larger than the village itself. How these lands are disposed of could have a significant impact on the future of the village.
A draft vision has been formulated. Local company Groundtruth have developed maps (read the Groundtruth NZTA Land Scoping document) to help with development of thinking over current, past and future uses of the land, including iwi interests.
The group is co-chaired by former Kāpiti mayor and Paekākāriki resident Jenny Rowan and the Mayor K Gurunathan and involves the full sweep of Paekākāriki community interests groups.
Being explored is the securing of the land for a suite of public works with KCDC as the lead agency. These public works could include environmental and flood protection, recreational opportunities, affordable housing, community gardens, tree planting for carbon sinks and wind power generation.
To achieve this a community plan for the land is needed by later this year to best inform and advocate with agencies before the final disposal process, due in 2020.
Regardless, the community plan would assist with supporting areas of local significance, and changes to the local district plan.
Why should KCDC be the lead agency for Wainuiwhenua and what does that involve?
There needs to be a lead agency that fronts the transition from NZTA surplus land to an integrated “public work” that delivers economic development, environmental restoration, climate change resilience, recreation, community development, and more.
This lead agency needs to coordinate, communicate and link the various parties and opportunities involved. It does not necessarily need to invest money and become a landowner or be a long term funder of land management.
It needs to work with the community and a wide range of other partners, providing leadership and facilitation. This will involve a commitment to front up, and to provide some resources of staff time.
Being the lead agency does not commit KCDC to financial investment. The aim will be to coordinate the ownership, development and future management of these lands across a range of agencies and organisations.
Being the lead agency provides potential to develop a smart integrated deal that provides major benefit to the whole Kapiti District at low cost. This is a very rare and exciting opportunity.
What is a public work?
Public Works Act – Interpretation: public work and work mean— “every Government work or local work that the Crown or any local authority is authorised to construct, undertake, establish, manage, operate, or maintain, and every use of land for any Government work or local work which the Crown or any local authority is authorised to construct, undertake, establish, manage, operate, or maintain by or under this or any other Act; and include anything required directly or indirectly for any such Government work or local work or use” and includes reserving land under the Conservation Act.