Paekākāriki advances north!

Making use of the land you already have becomes a keen issue nationwide as the availability of property becomes more difficult. In Paekākāriki the community has begun making better use of grounds they have access to – a strip of land between the village’s northern boundary and the Paekākāriki Holiday Park.

Locals and visitors will notice a lot of positive activity in this region this summer: a new community film and music centre with a focus on young people, Wai Ata, in Te Whare Wananga (the weaving whare); more planting, recreational areas, trees and a new wee garden shed on the growing Paekākāriki Orchards and Garden site; and on Saturday January 2, 4pm-10pm a music festival run by Kāpiti Coast young people. Mark Amery spoke to all three initiatives on community radio show Te Pae – you can listen below. and read more.

Paekākāriki Orchards and Gardens – a great outdoor space for growing plants and for growing community.
Te Whare Wananga at the end of Tilley Rd — its striking mural, now dilapidated, is in need of replacement. Image: Mark Coote

Situated in Te Whare Wananga (the weaver’s whare) at the end of the popular cycle trail to Raumati at the end of Tilley Road, Wai Ata — a local group headed by experienced Paekākāriki arts producers Julia Truscott and Himiona Grace — will open early in 2021. While the group begin work on soundproofing and other improvements this month (and welcoming volunteers to help!) the Kapiti Coast District Council are painting the exterior (and welcoming ideas for a new exterior mural). Grace and Truscott have a busy December – their band Tū TIlley play a gig on 12 December at St Peter’s Hall and they have a major fundraiser with band Pashtag which includes a community dinner and lots of fundraising activities. Here, they fill in the details.

Close by, the Paekākāriki Community Orchard and Garden has been growing hugely in the last 18 months since it obtained a license from KCDC for use of the strip of land between the Tilley Road sportsfields and Wellington Road ( documented the history of the POG group here).

A tree guardian scheme has seen a lot of fruit tree planting on the site, including citrus trees this Spring in the big dip where blackberry has mostly been cleared. Pathways and a new gate at the western end of the site have provided well-used public park pathways, including to the miniature hut built with the community by artist duo Kemi and Nico in February for the 2020 New Zealand Festival -– it remains popular with families and is now guarded by walnut trees. As well as other social areas, this winter saw the establishment of the Pae Cycle scheme in the village here, led by Doris Zuur while fellow POG volunteer, Albert Ubels, has recently completed a garden shed to be launched on December 13. POG Chair, Cory Hope, spoke about their developments with Paekākāriki FM.

As if this wasn’t enough, it is tribute to the growth in community use of this area that a talented group of Kāpiti Coast teenagers are staging a family friendly music festival at the sportsfields Saturday January 2, 4pm-10pm : The Pickle Pot Be-in : a “day of sun, sounds, and smiles”.