2017 General Election Candidate Manifesto

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Posted by Joanna Piatek for Heather Hutchings - Chair of Kapiti Chamber of Commerce on 2 August 2017

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Supporting Economic Growth in Kāpiti


Kāpiti has an unprecedented opportunity for growth - on a recent visit the Prime Minister called Kāpiti “the platform for growth in the Wellington Region”.

We believe specific areas of attention include:

Increasing mean earnings
In 2016 the mean annual earnings in Kāpiti was $43,760, compared to $53,550 in Porirua, $72,600 in Wellington City, $64,560 across the Wellington region and $57,780 across the whole of New Zealand.

Attracting more business investment to provide more highly skilled jobs
A large proportion of Kāpiti’s working age population commutes to Wellington each day, due to lack of highly-skilled jobs available locally - taking with them their expertise and discretionary dollar spend.

Supporting and encouraging more entrepreneurship in Kāpiti to grow the economy
One of Kapiti’s defining characteristics in its employment market is the number of self-starting people who establish businesses on the Coast. Recent figures show that self-employed workers accounted for 31.5% of the workforce in Kāpiti in 2016, a much higher rate than the national economy which was at 18%, and the Wellington region average at 15.9%. This has grown 3.4% per annum since 2010. Kāpiti’s economy has grown 3.7% in the year to March 2017, and self-employment plays a part in that overall growth.

1. With the next phase of the Expressway beginning, and Transmission Gully due for completion in 2020, what will your party do to help Kāpiti continue to punch above its weight with economic growth, encourage investment and make the most of the opportunities our region has?

2. Will you support and lobby for a Kāpiti Regional Growth Strategy (such has been implemented in the Bay of Plenty and Taranaki) to provide investment, policy advice, expertise and a full focus on helping Kāpiti become the platform for growth in the Wellington region?

3. How do we build a strong local economy that attracts business with higher skilled employees, and raises our mean earnings?

4. How would you support and encourage more entrepreneurship in Kāpiti?

Kāpiti Tourism
Kāpiti has the potential to be a premier tourism destination, attracting both both national and international visitors.

We have the key elements of a successful tourism destination - natural attractions, fine food and dining, adventure tourism and other unique activities, however we need a more coordinated approach to crafting the ‘Kāpiti Narrative’ - to take advantage of our new infrastructure and better accessibility to our region.

1. What support would you offer, and investment would your Government make available, (i.e. from Tourism New Zealand) to support growth of tourism infrastructure in Kāpiti?

Delivering Infrastructure for Kāpiti
To support economic and business growth in Kāpiti, the right infrastructure and public services need to be delivered at the right time.

Population forecasts are that our Kapiti will grow by 21.7% between now and 2043, rising from 52,433 people to 63,685 people, with steady and sustained growth each year.

To support and encourage economic growth, we need to have enough schools, better public health services to support families, and the right infrastructure to connect Kāpiti to Wellington and the rest of the country.

Health Services
The Kāpiti Chamber of Commerce is fully supportive of the petition asking for a seven day a week, 24-hour hospital which includes an accident and emergency service on the Kāpiti Coast. This has been an issue of concern for the community for some time.

Each year 40,000 trips are made by people from Kāpiti to Wellington hospital, taking them away from their businesses or employment.

There will also be increasing demand for more responsive and flexible health services in Kāpiti and beyond, once the Expressway and Transmission Gully are fully completed.

Other similar sized communities, with the same distance to major or regional hospitals, have access to a full range of health services on their doorstep, including the Wairarapa, Whakatane and Gore communities.

Wairarapa has a population of 43,890, and with Hutt Hospital just over an hour away offers 85 beds, Children’s Health, Maternity, Surgical and Mental Health Services. They also have an ED that is open 24-hours a day, 7 days a week.

1. Does your party support the petition asking for a seven day a week 24-hour, day a week hospital which includes an accident and emergency service on the Kāpiti Coast - why/why not?

2. Will your party consider new health infrastructure to service our growing Kāpiti communities, if yes, what type of health infrastructure?

Schools
Recent reports have found our local schools are either nearing, or are over, capacity. There remain challenges for Kāpiti schools to meet growing population demand, despite the recent investment announced by the Government.

Schools Over Capacity Schools Nearing Capacity
Kāpiti College - 117%
Te Horo School (Otaki) - 103%
Raumati Beach School - 103% Otaki School - 99%
KenaKena School - 96%
Paraparaumu College - 94%
Waikanae School - 93%
Paraparaumu Beach School - 93%
Raumati South School - 90%

1. What will you do to ensure the pressure is taken off our local schools, and they can meet future population growth?

2. When will the new school for Waikanae be built, given the land was purchased for it in 2010 and a major subdivision is underway at Waikanae Beach?

Youth Employment
Around 5000 people in Kāpiti are aged between 15 and 24. Youth unemployment remains an issue in Kāpiti, and is one that businesses and employers want to address.

The overall unemployment rate in Kāpiti was 5.1% in March 2017 down from 5.9% a year earlier.

Ensuring we have more ‘work-ready’ youth will help the longer-term economic growth of Kāpiti, as our working population becomes more skilled and able, meaning:
● local businesses won’t have to look outside of the region for employees, and
● young people won’t need to leave Kāpiti for employment.

Work Ready Kāpiti, a group formed between the Youth Employment Strategy Group, the Kāpiti Coast Chamber of Commerce and the Kāpiti Coast District Council are working with local employers to help make young people work-ready, to expand our local workforce, and ensure our young people have the skills necessary to succeed in employment.

1. Do you support Work Ready Kāpiti, and what it is hoping to achieve - why?

2. What will you do as our local MP to support local youth employment initiatives and help businesses to take on more young employees?

 

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