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Kāpiti 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
District Kāpiti Coast District
Wards Otaki, Waikanae, Paraparaumu/Raumati, Paekakariki
 • Total 731.25 km2 (282.34 sq mi)
Population (June 2016)
 • Total 52,100
 • Density 71.25/km2 (184.53/sq mi)
Time zone NZST (UTC+12)
 • Summer (DST) NZDT (UTC+13)
Postcode(s) Map of postcodes
Website District Council

The Kapiti Coast District is a local government district in the lower North Island of New Zealand 50 km north of Wellington.

The district is named after Kapiti Island a prominent landmark 5 km offshore. The population of the district is concentrated in the chain of coastal settlements along State Highway One: Otaki, Te Horo, Waikanae, Paraparaumu, Raumati and Paekakariki. Paraparaumu is the most populous of these towns and the commercial and administrative centre. Much of the rural land is given over to horticulture and market gardens are common along the highway between the settlements. Paraparumu has a small airport with daily scheduled flights to Auckland and across Cook Strait to Christchurch, Nelson and Blenheim.

The area available for agriculture and settlement is narrow and coastal. Much of the eastern part of the district is part of the Tararua Forest Park which covers the rugged Tararua Range, with peaks rising to over 1500 m.


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.


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.


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.

Coordinates: 40°50′38″S 175°11′10″E / 40.844°S 175.186°E / -40.844; 175.186

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