The proposed Kāpiti Gateway at Maclean Park has been given the green light by Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones.
The controversial application appears to have cleared the first funding hurdle with the half the funding coming from the Provincial Growth Fund. Kāpiti Councillors will now decide whether local ratepayers will fund the other $2.23 million needed.
Kāpiti Coast Mayor K Gurunathan says this is a fantastic result for Kāpiti and is an investment in the future of our district. "Councillors will now meet to discuss the allocation of the Council's $2.23 million share, following robust scrutiny of the business case."
"I'd like to thank Council staff for helping us to get to this point where we can continue our conversations around the possibility of establishing a Gateway. However, I must stress that no firm decisions have been made."
Councillor and business and jobs portfolio holder, Angela Buswell, says securing central government funding is a significant step forward for Kāpiti.
"It indicates that the government has confidence in our district's future and recognises the potential short and long term benefits this project will bring to the district social, cultural, environmental and economic."
Cr Buswell says, "While there is a lot more detail to be worked through, we now have a real opportunity to enhance the mana of Kāpiti Island and our district."
"The benefits of this project, extend well beyond visitor attraction," Cr Buswell says. "The Kāpiti Gateway will provide cultural and environmental educational opportunities for our rangatahi and a place for our community, young and old, to sit and enjoy the views out to the Island.
"It will significantly enhance the Paraparaumu Beach experience, generating more foot traffic and adding to the vibrancy of the area for years to come," said Cr Buswell.
Council will meet shortly to discuss whether or not to progress with the proposed Kāpiti Gateway at this time.
Leading in to the application there was significant opposition to the proposed Gateway project from politicians and business groups and this funding is unlikely to change that opposition.
Liz Koh, chair of the Kāpiti Economic Development Agency says Council needed to look at all of the options and that has not been done.
"The feasibility study refresh found the Boating Club was not the best option. This really needs to be taken back to the drawing board for serious re-evaluation," says Ms Koh.
More details and reaction will follow as soon as they are available.