Kapiti Coast District

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Kapiti Coast District
Looking across Waikanae Beach to Kapiti Island
Looking across Waikanae Beach to Kapiti Island
Kapiti Coast Territorial Authority.png
CountryNew Zealand
Community BoardsPaekākāriki Community Board,
Paraparaumu/Raumati Community Board,
Waikanae Community Board,
Ōtaki Community Board[1]
ElectoratesMana (general)
Ōtaki (general)
Te Tai Hauāuru (Māori)
 • MayorK (Guru) Gurunathan[2]
 • Deputy MayorJanet Holborow[3]
 • Territorial authorityKapiti Coast District Council
 • MPs
 • Territorial731.52 km2 (282.44 sq mi)
 • Urban
76.69 km2 (29.61 sq mi)
 • Rural
654.83 km2 (252.83 sq mi)
 (June 2021)[5]
 • Territorial58,000
 • Density79/km2 (210/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+12 (NZST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+13 (NZDT)
5032, 5034, 5036, 5381, 5391, 5512, 5573, 5581, 5582, 5583 [6]
WebsiteKāpiti 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.


The Kapiti Coast District stretches from Ōtaki in the north through to Paekākāriki in the south. In between it includes the towns of Te Horo, Waikanae, Paraparaumu, Raumati Beach, Raumati South, and smaller localities such as Emerald Glen, Lindale, Maungakōtukutuku, Otaihanga, and Peka Peka.[7]

The district is not generally considered part of the Wellington metropolitan area, being distant from Wellington City, Porirua and the Hutt Valley, which make up the nucleus of the area. Still, Waikanae is considered by many to be the absolute northernmost point Wellington can be considered to reach as a city. 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. The town of Paraparaumu, considered the pivot of the district, is located about 55 km north of Wellington.


Most of the district was originally part of the now defunct Hutt County. The Kapiti Borough Council was carved from it in 1973.

In New Zealand's local government reforms 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 Ōtaki, which had been part of the Horowhenua County. The council, now styled Kāpiti Coast District Council,[8] is a territorial authority elected by residents every three years. It consists of a mayor and 10 councillors.[9] Two councillors are elected for the Paraparaumu ward, one each for the Ōtaki, Paekākāriki-Raumati and Waikanae wards, and five are elected at-large.[3] Kapiti Island is part of the Paraparaumu ward.[10] Residents also elect one of four community boards for their local area. Community boards are primarily advocates for their local area and they also administer community grant funding.[1]

Although "Kapiti Coast District" is the official name of the district,[11] the council uses the Maori-language spelling "Kāpiti" for its name, despite this spelling being unrelated to the original Māori name for the island.[12]

Greater Wellington Regional Council is responsible for regional governance of the district and the wider region, including public transport, water and environmental management.

Community boards[edit]

The Kāpiti Coast District Council has created four local community boards, under the provisions of Part 4 of the Local Government Act 2002,[13] covering the district:

  • The Paekākāriki Community Board representing the area including Paekākāriki, Emerald Glen and Whareroa Road in the north;
  • The Paraparaumu/Raumati Community Board representing the area from Raumati South through to Otaihanga;
  • The Waikanae Community Board representing the area from Waikanae Downs in the south through to Peka Peka in the north;
  • The Ōtaki Community Board representing the area including north of Marycrest, Te Horo, Ōtaki North to Forest Lakes.[1][4][10]


Kapiti Coast District covers 731.52 km2 (282.44 sq mi)[4] and had an estimated population of 58,000 as of June 2021,[5] with a population density of 79 people per km2.

Historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.
Source: [14]

Many of the residents work in Wellington.[15]

The population of the district has grown rapidly since the 1980s, fuelled in large part by Wellingtonians moving there to retire.[15]

2018 census[edit]

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.[14]

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


Apart from Kapiti Island, one of the most visible features of the Kapiti Coast is Queen Elizabeth Park. Lying to the south of Raumati, it is a popular attraction that covers some 12 km². It extends to Paekākāriki, and includes the Wellington Tramway Museum.

Other tourist attractions include the Southward Car Museum, a few kilometres north of the Paraparaumu town centre in Otaihanga, and the Paraparaumu Golf Course.


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.

Populated places[edit]

Kapiti Coast District consists of the following towns, localities, settlements and communities:


  1. ^ a b c "Community Boards". Kāpiti Coast District Council. Retrieved 2020-04-18. A Board’s role is mainly advocacy but it also has powers to make some decisions about issues within its boundaries. Boards make submissions to Council and other statutory agencies. They control local funds for making grants to individuals and groups for community purposes.
  2. ^ "Mayor". www.kapiticoast.govt.nz. Kāpiti Coast District Council. Retrieved 2020-04-18.
  3. ^ a b "Councillors". www.kapiticoast.govt.nz. Kāpiti Coast District Council. Retrieved 1 August 2021.
  4. ^ a b c "ArcGIS Web Application". statsnz.maps.arcgis.com. Retrieved 7 March 2022.
  5. ^ a b "Population estimate tables - NZ.Stat". Statistics New Zealand. Retrieved 22 October 2021.
  6. ^ "Kapiti Coast District Postcodes (PDF)" (PDF). New Zealand Post. Retrieved 2020-04-18.
  7. ^ "Geography notes | Kāpiti Coast District | profile.id". profile.idnz.co.nz. Retrieved 2018-03-05.
  8. ^ "Kāpiti Coast District Council". kapiticoast.govt.nz. 2016-04-08. Retrieved 2016-04-08.
  9. ^ "Our Elected Members". www.kapiticoast.govt.nz. Kāpiti Coast District Council. Retrieved 2020-04-18.
  10. ^ a b "Wards and Community Boards" (PDF). www.kapiticoast.govt.nz. Kāpiti Coast District Council. Retrieved 1 August 2021.
  11. ^ "Kapiti Coast District". New Zealand Gazetteer. Land Information New Zealand. Retrieved 1 August 2021.
  12. ^ "Kapiti Island". New Zealand Gazetteer. Land Information New Zealand. Retrieved 1 August 2021.
  13. ^ "Local Government Act 2002 No 84 (as at 01 July 2017)". www.legislation.govt.nz. Retrieved 5 February 2022.
  14. ^ a b "Statistical area 1 dataset for 2018 Census". Statistics New Zealand. March 2020. Kapiti Coast District (043). 2018 Census place summary: Kapiti Coast District
  15. ^ a b "Commuting Patterns in New Zealand: 1996–2006 – Statistics New Zealand". Stats.govt.nz. 2009-07-22. Retrieved 2012-12-27.

External links[edit]

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