Karori community designs shape of things to come

19 March 2018

Karori residents and businesses are taking an active role in planning their suburb’s future in a new piloted approach by Wellington City Council – making it a more attractive and appealing place for local businesses, residents and visitors alike.

The Karori Project logo

The Karori Project was formed in 2017 when the Council agreed to provide the support necessary to help the people of Karori develop a long-term vision for their community. 

This innovative way of planning involved a community-led approach through independently-run workshops and engagement with local leaders, groups, schools and businesses to develop a high-level Karori Plan.

Councillor Diane Calvert, the City Council’s Portfolio Leader for Community Planning and Engagement, says this builds on what’s already been happening in the suburb. 

“Karori has always been an engaged and proud community, so it makes sense to listen to them, take on board their local knowledge, address their challenges, and create a vision based on what they want to see and do in their own neighbourhood.”

Councillor Andy Foster, Portfolio Leader for the Karori Community Plan and Urban Development, says: “The Karori Plan is described as the start of a journey, and a call to further action – for all of us. 

“Karori people who have been involved clearly see the potential for our community to be even better, and that’s really exciting. That potential is powerfully captured in four key themes, moving from ‘Having Green’ to ‘Living Green’, from ‘Outpost’ to ‘Magnet’, from ‘Dormitory’ suburb to having a ‘Daytime Economy’ and from a ‘Split’ community to one that is physically and socially ‘Connected’. 

“We’ve enjoyed a lot of new facility developments in recent years but it is evident some people didn’t see them as an integrated whole. The Karori Plan will provide coherence and direction to future community and Council planning. Upgrading our town centre is a key part of the Karori Plan vision.”

Councillor Calvert says: “There is a strong desire for the Karori town centre to become much more of a drawcard destination for shopping, entertainment and recreation.” 

The Council has published a report on the outcomes of the Karori Project and a ‘snapshot plan on a page’ of related community-led and Council-led activities that are under way and planned. The report and snapshot are online at https://wellington.govt.nz/your-council/projects/karori-community-plan  

Community engagement for Karori town centre upgrade is scheduled to get under way shortly with the Council allocating funding for public space improvements in the 2018/19 financial year.

“This was a great opportunity to consider all facets of an area and community, including transport, infrastructure, environment, recreation, and heritage. We’re excited about the success of this project and what the future of Karori will look like – and we know the community are too, because they created it,” says Cr Calvert. 

Fellow Ward Councillor Simon Woolf says: “The Council has recently completed the artificial turf at Terawhiti Bowling Club and purchased land for additional parking at the swimming pool, and the purchase of additional land for future town centre development.”

A masterplan for Makara Peak Mountain Bike Park’s future development was also approved in 2017 and planning has started for an upgrade to the main entrance for Makara Peak and an expansion of the track network over the next 10 years. A new city-end playground is being publicly consulted on as part of the 2018-2028 Long-term Plan. 

Councillor Woolf adds: “If everyone in Karori does a little, we can get a lot done. There’s a lot going on already that people can get involved with including community gardens, bird conservation and recycling projects. The community’s vision for a greener, better connected, attractive suburb will help to guide existing and new projects so Karori becomes the place we would all love to see.”