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Kapiti Coast District
Territorial authority
Looking across Waikanae Beach to Kapiti Island
Looking across Waikanae Beach to Kapiti Island
Kapiti Coast Territorial Authority.png
Country New Zealand
Region Wellington
Wards Ōtaki
Waikanae
Paraparaumu
Paekākāriki-Raumati
Community Boards Paekākāriki Community Board,
Paraparaumu/Raumati Community Board,
Waikanae Community Board,
Ōtaki Community Board
Electorates Mana (general)
Ōtaki (general)
Te Tai Hauāuru (Māori)
Area
 • Territorial 731.52 km2 (282.44 sq mi)
 • Urban
76.69 km2 (29.61 sq mi)
 • Rural
654.83 km2 (252.83 sq mi)
Population
 (June 2020)
 • Territorial 57,000
 • Density 77.9/km2 (201.8/sq mi)
Time zone UTC+12 (NZST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC+13 (NZDT)
Postcode(s)
5032, 5034, 5036, 5381, 5391, 5512, 5573, 5581, 5582, 5583
Website Kāpiti Coast District Council

The Kapiti Coast District is a local government district of the Wellington Region in the lower North Island of New Zealand, 50 km north of Wellington City. The district is named after Kapiti Island, a prominent island 5 km offshore.

The population of the district is concentrated in the chain of coastal settlements along State Highway One: Ōtaki, Te Horo, Waikanae, Paraparaumu, Raumati Beach, Raumati South, and Paekākāriki. Paraparaumu is the most populous of these towns and the commercial and administrative centre. Much of the rural land is given over to horticulture; market gardens are common along the highway between the settlements. The area available for agriculture and settlement is narrow and coastal. Much of the eastern part of the district is within the Tararua Forest Park, which covers the rugged Tararua Range, with peaks rising to over 1500 m.

Features

Apart from Kāpiti Island, perhaps the most visible features of the Kapiti Coast are Paraparaumu Airport and Queen Elizabeth Park. The airport is sandwiched between Paraparaumu (to the north) and Raumati (to the south). Possessing three runways (one of which is now closed), it once served as the main airport of the Wellington region, but was until recently used mainly by aeroclubs. In 2011 scheduled commercial flights from Kapiti to Auckland were resumed. The park, lying to the south of Raumati, is a popular attraction which covers some 12 km². The park extends to Paekakariki, and includes the Wellington Tramway Museum.

Other tourist attractions on the Kapiti Coast include the Paraparaumu Golf Course. Another attraction a few kilometres north of the town centre is the Southward Car Museum in Otaihanga.

The district is on the North Island Main Trunk railway line (NIMT), and is served as far north as Waikanae by suburban passenger trains operating on what is referred to as the Kapiti Line.

Population

The district's population at the June 2016 census was 52,100. Although administratively part of the Wellington Region, the Kapiti Coast is geographically and to a large extent socially distinct from Wellington, Porirua and the Hutt Valley, which together make up the nucleus of the region. However many residents travel into Wellington each day for work and the whole Kapiti Coast is a popular weekend destination for the people of the Wellington Region. Many migrate to the area for their retirement. The Kapiti Coast district incorporates the towns of Paekakariki, Raumati, Paraparaumu, Waikanae and Otaki, and smaller localities such as Maungakotukutuku, Otaihanga, Peka Peka, and Te Horo. Paraparaumu, considered the pivot of the district, is located about 55 km north of Wellington.

Relationship with Wellington

Many Kapiti Coast District residents work in Wellington. Commuters to the four cities located in the Greater Wellington Region make up 36% of the workforce of the Kapiti Urban Area (Paraparaumu, Waikanae, Paekakariki) and 12% of the workforce of Otaki. One of Wellington's two main commuter rail links, the Kapiti Line, terminates in Waikanae. There are also commuter bus services.

State Highway One connects the Kapiti Coast to Wellington. The road is a narrow, coastal highway that is highly congested and has been subject to occasional closure due to land slides. The Transmission Gully Motorway has long been mooted both as a commuter route and an alternative access to the capital in case of a civil defence emergency. Preliminary work around this project has been completed but full funding has not yet been secured.

The population of the district has grown rapidly since the 1980s, fueled in large part by Wellingtonians moving to the coast to retire. More Kapiti Coasters are over the retirement age than in any other district or city in the country - 23.3% of the district's population is over 65; compared with 9.4% in the four cities of the Wellington Region, and 12.1% of New Zealand as a whole.

History

Most of the district was originally part of the now-defunct Hutt County. The Kapiti Borough Council was carved from it in 1973; in the local government reorganization of 1989, the Borough Council was replaced by the Kapiti Coast District Council, and the area under its jurisdiction expanded northwards to include Waikanae and Otaki, which had been part of the former Horowhenua County.


Demographics

Kapiti Coast District covers 731.52 km2 (282.44 sq mi) and had an estimated population of 57,000 as of June 2020, with a population density of 78 people per km2.

Historical population
Year Pop. ±% p.a.
2006 46,197 —    
2013 49,104 +0.88%
2018 53,673 +1.80%

Many of the residents work in Wellington.

The population of the district has grown rapidly since the 1980s, fuelled in large part by Wellingtonians moving there to retire.

2018 census

Kapiti Coast District had a population of 53,673 at the 2018 New Zealand census, an increase of 4,569 people (9.3%) since the 2013 census, and an increase of 7,476 people (16.2%) since the 2006 census. There were 21,753 households. There were 25,314 males and 28,359 females, giving a sex ratio of 0.89 males per female. The median age was 47.9 years (compared with 37.4 years nationally), with 9,285 people (17.3%) aged under 15 years, 7,386 (13.8%) aged 15 to 29, 22,935 (42.7%) aged 30 to 64, and 14,067 (26.2%) aged 65 or older.

Ethnicities were 87.7% European/Pākehā, 14.7% Māori, 3.0% Pacific peoples, 4.6% Asian, and 2.2% other ethnicities. People may identify with more than one ethnicity.

The percentage of people born overseas was 22.6, compared with 27.1% nationally.

Although some people objected to giving their religion, 52.9% had no religion, 35.8% were Christian, 0.5% were Hindu, 0.1% were Muslim, 0.6% were Buddhist and 2.7% had other religions.

Of those at least 15 years old, 10,188 (23.0%) people had a bachelor or higher degree, and 7,167 (16.1%) people had no formal qualifications. The median income was $29,700, compared with $31,800 nationally. 7,950 people (17.9%) earned over $70,000 compared to 17.2% nationally. The employment status of those at least 15 was that 18,792 (42.3%) people were employed full-time, 6,435 (14.5%) were part-time, and 1,596 (3.6%) were unemployed.

Individual wards
Name Area (km2) Population Density (per km2) Households Median age Median income
Ōtaki Ward 457.79 9,000 19.66 3,639 47.2 years $26,200
Paraparaumu Ward 67.01 20,775 310.03 8,268 46.5 years $29,300
Waikanae Ward 145.34 13,452 92.56 5,751 54.3 years $30,700
Paekākāriki-Raumati Ward 61.39 10,443 170.11 4,098 44.7 years $33,700
New Zealand 37.4 years $31,800

Transport

State Highway One connects the Kapiti Coast to Wellington. The road is a narrow, coastal highway that is highly congested and has been subject to occasional closure due to landslides. The Transmission Gully Motorway has long been mooted both as a commuter route and an alternative access to the capital in case of a civil defence emergency. Construction of the route officially began on 8 September 2014.

The district is on the North Island Main Trunk railway line (NIMT). It is served as far north as Waikanae by suburban passenger trains operating on one of Wellington's two main commuter rail links, the Kapiti Line, which terminates in Waikanae. There are also commuter bus services.

The small Kapiti Coast Airport is sandwiched between Paraparaumu (to the north) and Raumati (to the south). With three runways (one of which is now closed), it once served as the main airport of the Wellington region, but was until recently used mainly by aeroclubs. In 2011 scheduled commercial flights from Kapiti to Auckland resumed. It also has daily scheduled flights across Cook Strait to Nelson and Blenheim.

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