Kāpiti Coast DistrictCommunity profile
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Kāpiti Coast District

About the profile areas

The 2018 population for Kāpiti Coast District is 53,670, with a population density of 0.73 persons per hectare.


Note: This page displays the area boundaries used for the 2018 Census. In some cases, these are significantly different to the pre-2018 areas. For more on this, see the Census 2018 page.

Location and boundaries

The Kāpiti Coast District is located on the south-western coast of the lower North Island, about 50 kilometres north of the Wellington CBD. The Kāpiti Coast District is bounded by the Horowhenua District in the north, the Carterton and South Wairarapa Districts in the east, Upper Hutt and Porirua Cites in the south, and the Tasman Sea in the west.

Name origin

The place names of the Kāpiti Coast have origins from early Māori who arrived on the canoe, Kurahaupo. Whatonga (Captain of the Kurahaupo) named Kāpiti Island for his decendants Tara and Rangitāne. Kāpiti Island is derived from the full name Te Waewae Kāpiti o Tara rāua ko Rangitāne (The joined footprints of Tara and Rangitāne) Kāpiti Island indicated the land boundaries for both iwi; Ngāi Tara - Kāpiti Island South and Rangitāne - Kāpiti Island North.

Profile areas
Kāpiti Coast District

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 of the District continued to increase from the 1980s, rising from about 26,000 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

The Kāpiti Coast District 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. The Kāpiti Coast District encompasses a total land area of over 700 square kilometres, including coastline, beaches, wetlands, rivers, forests and mountains.


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

Major features

Major features of the District include Kāpiti Island, Kāpiti Island Nature Reserve, 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 Wananga 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 the Kāpiti Coast District were the Māori people.

Included areas

The Kāpiti Coast District includes the suburbs and localities of Kaitawa, Kāpiti Island, 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.