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Source: New Zealand Government

The Kāpiti Coast is to get a new multi-purpose visitor centre that will become a community hub and tell the story of the rich history of the area, Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones has announced.

Funding for the $2 million ‘Gateway’ centre at Paraparaumu will come from the $3 billion set aside for infrastructure projects from the Government’s COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund.

“This type of facility has been talked about by the community for decades and I am delighted that the Government has been able to fund it,” Shane Jones said.

“Not only will it be a drawcard for visitors to the area, it brings together in one place the story of the coast, including the importance it has in the history of local Māori.

“This coast is of great importance to the people of Te Āti Awa and Ngāti Toa. It is the site of beach battles led by the great Māori rangatira Te Rauparaha who was a war leader of Ngāti Toa and a leading force in the Musket Wars of the 19th Century.

“Kāpiti Island is an ecological marvel and this facility will play a vital role in strengthening biosecurity measures against threats to one of New Zealand’s most treasured nature reserves.

The projects is expected to create more than 27 jobs in the design and build phase and up to 72 in the longer term. Māori artists will also create the pouwhenua to stand outside the centre.

“The Gateway will be a catalyst for new business opportunities in tourism and recreation, creating new jobs, and encouraging new economic activity. There is considerable potential to grow the local tourism industry, particularly for domestic tourism across the whole Kāpiti region,” Shane Jones said.

It has been estimated that the combined impact of current and first-year visitor activity form the Gateway would be $5.91 million, rising to up to $16.26 million by 2030.

Note to editors:

All approvals are in principle and subject to contract negotiations. Investment values are also subject to change.

The funding announced today is part of the $3 billion infrastructure package in the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund, announced by Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Shane Jones on July 1. The fund is expected to deliver more than 20,000 jobs across New Zealand and unlock investment with a project value of more than $5 billion.