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Kāpiti Coast

About the profile areas

The 2013 population for Kāpiti Coast is 49,089, with a population density of 0.69 persons per hectare.

Location and boundaries

Kāpiti Coast is located on the south-western coast of the lower North Island, about 50 kilometres north of the Wellington CBD. Kāpiti Coast is bounded by the locality of Mangaore-Manakau in the north, the localities of Mount Holdsworth and Kahutara in the east, the localities of Cloustonville and Paekākāriki Hill in the south, and the Tasman Sea in the west.

Settlement history

European settlement dates from the 1830s, with whaling being an important initial industry. Land was used mainly for sheep grazing and dairy farming. Gradual settlement took place during the late 1800s, spurred by the opening of the railway line, with the area becoming more of a coastal holiday retirement area in the first half of the 1900s. In the latter part of the 1900s the area became a more permanent settlement. Paraparaumu Airport (now known as Kāpiti Coast Airport) became the main airport for the Wellington Region from 1949 when the Rongotai Airport was closed, but then declined in importance when the Wellington International Airport was opened in 1959. Significant population growth occurred from the late 1960s into the mid 1970s. The population continued to increase from the 1980s, rising from about 26,000 people in 1981 to 35,000 in 1991, to over 42,000 in 2001, and then to 49,000 in 2013. Population growth is expected to continue, particularly in the townships of Waikanae and Ōtaki.

Land use

Kāpiti Coast is a predominantly rural and conservation area, with the population concentrated in a chain of coastal settlements along State Highway 1. The main township is Paraparaumu, with smaller urban areas in the townships of Ōtaki, Paekākāriki, Raumati and Waikanae and several smaller settlements. Rural land is used largely for horticulture and market gardening. Kāpiti Coast encompasses a total land area of over 700 square kilometres, including coastline, beaches, wetlands, rivers, forests and mountains.


Kāpiti Coast is served by State Highway 1, the Kāpiti railway line and the Kāpiti Coast Airport.

Major features

Major features of the area include Nga Manu Nature Reserve, Tararua Forest Park, Hemi Matenga Memorial Park, Queen Elizabeth Park, various beaches, Coastlands Shopping Centre, Raumati Beach Shopping Village, Coastlands Aquatic Centre, Kāpiti Coast Museum, Ōtaki Museum, Southward Car Museum, Steam Incorporated, Wellington Tramway Museum, Whareroa Farm, Lindale Farm (Farmyard & Barn Experience), Kāpiti Golf Club, Ōtaki Golf Club, Paraparaumu Beach Golf Club, Waikanae Golf Club, Ōtaki Racecourse, Te Wānanga O Raukawa (Ōtaki Campus), Whitireia Polytechnic (Kāpiti Campus), Te Nikau Training Centre, the Ōtaki River and the Waikanae River.

Indigenous background

The original inhabitants of Kāpiti Coast were the Māori people.

Included areas

Kāpiti Coast encompasses the localities of Kaitawa, Maungakotukutuku, Otaihanga, Ōtaki, Ōtaki Forks, Paekākāriki, Paraparaumu Beach North, Paraparaumu Beach South, Paraparaumu Central, Peka Peka, Raumati Beach, Raumati South, Te Horo, Waikanae Beach, Waikanae East, Waikanae Park and Waikanae West.