David Webber, current chair of the Kapiti Coast Economic Development Leadership Group.
The Kapiti Council has established a new group to lead discussion and help bolster the district's economic performance.
Strategy and Planning Group Manager, Sarah Stevenson, says the Kapiti Economic Development Leadership Group has been set up to assist the Council to deliver on its Kapiti District Economic Development Strategy 2015-2018 and help maximise the opportunities the Expressways bring to the district.
"The group, which comprises local experts in economics and sector development, representatives from the Kapiti Coast Chamber of Commerce and local iwi, will support the Council to foster and enable economic development across the district."
David Webber, chair of the Kapiti Coast Economic Development Leadership Group, says the Expressway and the Council's work to transform and improve the Paraparaumu and Waikanae town centres provide Kapiti with a rare opportunity to reassess and take charge of its economic future.
"The next few years should provide significant opportunities for growth if we are ready and able to take advantage of the opportunities.
"Improved connections to Wellington, increased job and investment opportunities coupled with a growing number of people and businesses looking to call Kapiti home provide great stimulus for the district's economy."
One of the primary functions of the new leadership group is to monitor the effectiveness of the Council's Economic Development Strategy 2015-18 and implementation activity and to foster greater engagement and connections with stakeholders. This includes working with communities and the business sector to identify and facilitate economic development, including new investment opportunities.
Mr Webber says any discussion about fostering economic development must take into account the district's rich economic and social history, protection of the district's environmental assets and a wide and growing range of community needs and interests.
"Protecting the unique qualities of the region, including the character and diversity of each community, while increasing the vibrancy and diversity of the Kapiti Coast economy will be a real challenge and we need to ensure that we manage change and harness opportunities in a balanced and sustainable way."
Members of the leadership group include David Webber (Managing Director of the Economics & Strategy Group Ltd), Heather Hutchings and Liz Koh (Kapiti Chamber of Commerce), Wendy Huston (Kapiti Retirement Trust), Alison Harrison (education and health sector strategy consultant), Chris Dyrhberg (ICT sector consultant), David Perks (Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency) and Kapiti Coast District Councillors Angela Buswell and James Cootes.