Kapiti Coast International Airport?

BEN STRANG
Last updated 10:21 12/09/2013
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A Wellington mayoral candidate has big plans for Kapiti if he is elected in the capital, with an international airport and high-speed rail link touted for the district in the next 30 years.

Jack Yan is running for mayor in Wellington, and came up with the idea as an option instead of a $300 million upgrade of Wellington Airport.

Should Kapiti amalgamate with Wellington, he foresees the international airport being based at Kapiti Coast Airport, with Kapiti the gateway to Wellington.

"It's a very long-term sort of proposal," Mr Yan said. "We're not talking about in the next three years. Most other mayoral candidates are thinking in this little three-year cycle, but we need to look further ahead than that.

"It looks like we will amalgamate at some point, and so the Wellington mayor needs to be thinking about the other cities a bit more than we are."

In a two-stage plan, Mr Yan would like to see Wellington remain an international destination, but wants to develop Kapiti Coast Airport into a longhaul destination for flights.

While there are issues with homes surrounding the airport, he suggested the Government could invoke the Public Works Act to take land and develop the airport.

With longhaul flights coming into Kapiti, a high-speed rail link would have to be set up to get travellers into Wellington.

"I've been on high-speed trains all over the world, on the Heathrow Express, 300kmh trains in Taiwan - the technology is there now.

"It would take about 20 minutes to get from Kapiti to the Wellington CBD. In the future I think the price of building these things will come down, and who knows, we may have a new form of propulsion then too."

He said the rail link would cater to visitors and commuters.

Mr Yan said central Government would be better to put $200 million into Kapiti's airport than $300m into Wellington Airport.

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