Kapiti, Thursday 9 August 2018 - Kapiti business leaders are urging the Government to fully complete the Expressway from Otaki to Levin to unlock economic potential and support growth north of the capital.
Kapiti’s business community welcomed Air Chathams to the Coast today at a special lunch hosted by the Kāpiti Coast Chamber of Commerce, where businesses discussed the importance of investing in regional infrastructure.
“The community has fought for, and attracted, a new air service to Kapiti. Now, we need the Government to get to work on the last stage of the Expressway - so our region can really accelerate and grow,” says Heather Hutchings, Kāpiti Coast Chamber of Commerce Chair.
“In a survey to our members last month, more than 90 per cent said completing the Expressway to Levin is important, or incredibly important. More than 80 per cent said a local air service was important or very important to Kapiti. What this tells us is that our members view infrastructure as key to supporting economic growth.
“Delivering a four-lane Expressway from Levin to Kapiti will encourage more people to consider flying from Paraparaumu. Colmar Brunton data has identified a significant market in Horowhenua, people who currently drive straight past Paraparaumu to fly from Wellington or choose to go via Palmerston North. The Expressway would make the journey faster, safer and more attractive, and ultimately encourage more people to fly Kapiti” says Heather Hutchings.
Nathan Guy, MP for Otaki, says the weekend’s community day at Kapiti Airport attracted thousands of locals who warmly welcomed Air Chathams into our community.
“There is a real buzz about reconnecting us with Auckland, and potentially other routes in the future.
“The region’s economic growth has been helped along by the National Government’s strategic investment into building the Kapiti Expressway. However dark clouds are gathering over the proposed Horowhenua Expressway with a real fear the funding has been raided for Auckland trams. Without the certainty of funding Levin by 2020 will be the worst choke point in the North Island” says Nathan Guy MP for Otaki.
“There’s a lot of momentum in our business community. Local confidence is strong - investment by Air Chathams in our district is fantastic. We are feeling optimistic. Now, we need the Government to get to work and finish the Expressway as originally promised to unlock the economic potential in Kapiti and Horowhenua” says Heather Hutchings.
The Kāpiti Coast Chamber of Commerce exists to advance the economy by creating wealth and employment and solve local business issues by providing a collective voice for business in Kapiti. Over 300 members in Kapiti belong to the Kāpiti Coast Chamber of Commerce to stay connected, network and gain knowledge and support from our local membership.