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goal: to create intergenerational equity through sustainable settlement.
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An important part of the Ngārara vision is to provide long-term, intergenerational benefits for new and existing residents of Waikanae.

To do this, we will make sure that the surrounding community has its fair share of the benefits of development and equal access to resources and services, including open areas, tracks and lookouts.

The Ngārara development will include a range of housing types to suit the needs of the broad demographic, while providing an overall high level of amenity for all residents.

The design ethos will aid the development of strong physical and social networks through the provision of generous open spaces that encourage connection to nature, thereby promoting environmental awareness and providing a sense of wellbeing.

The cultural history of Ngārara and Waikanae will be commemorated, and opportunities for art expression provided.

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There is no question that open space contributes to our quality of life.

An outstanding feature of Ngārara will be the generous network of open spaces, not normally seen in residential development in New Zealand which includes the sixty hectare, nationally significant Kawakahia Wetland – the jewel in the crown. More than one third of the physical space in Ngārara will be parks, walkways, greenway links – between parks and also neighbourhoods, community gardens and existing wetlands and native bush. While some open spaces seek to offer a sense of wilderness and escape, others will offer places for social interaction.

A management plan is being developed for the Kawakahia Wetland that will guide the community on conservation, appropriate access and usage. The main body of the wetland will naturally remain the preserve of the birds and

ecological study will guide us on the appropriateness of a boardwalk and bird hide on the edge of Totara Lagoon. A perimeter walking trail will provide panoramic views of the wetland and beyond. Pest and plant control will be ongoing and the involvement and commitment of the Ngārara community will be important to successful conservation.

The wetland trail will connect to Pharazyn Reserve and Waikanae Beach to the west and extend east along the Ngārara Stream to Nga Manu Nature Reserve. The wetland access will enhance the Nga Manu experience not only providing educational and recreational opportunity, but also attracting a growing number of national and international visitors.

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The social history of the land contained within the Ngārara farm area is diverse.

It has been occupied for centuries – first by iwi such as Muaupoko then more recently by Te Ati Awa and Ngati Toa who dominated this area from the 1820s. In the late nineteenth century, Wiremu Te Kakakura Parata (Wi Parata), gained title to a block which included Ngārara. The existing farm, once considerably bigger, has been owned by two European farming families since the 1920s – the Fields and the Smiths (that’s us).

Recognition will be given to events, individuals, hapu (families) and tribes that have occupied the land before us. Their names will be commemorated in the naming of streets, trails and meeting places. Notionally, all street names will be prefixed ‘Te Ara’, e.g. ‘Te Ara o Totara’.

The gateway of Waimeha has been designed to celebrate Taewapirau, a prominent landscape feature within Ngārara that also has cultural significance.

A cultural history of Ngārara-Waikanae has been researched and recorded in ‘Ngārara – A Cultural and Social Plan’, and since then further research into the area has been completed by Te Ati Awa, which will be incorporated into the final version of this plan.

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This plan documents the cultural and social characteristics of the area of the Ngārara settlement. It presents research into the history and culture of the land, and the communities that have lived, worked and played on Ngārara – including their ideologies, values, behaviours and traditions.

It then defines the goals for the settlement in these terms and sets out a broad framework, showing how these characteristics can be reflected and enhanced in the planning and design of the area.
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There are 20 schools in the Kapiti Coast District, from Paekakariki School in the south to Waitohu School in Otaki in the north.

There are 3 Colleges, 2 composite schools (Years 1 -15) and 15 primary schools.

The Ministry of Education website provides detailed information on all of the schools including Education Review Office reports and links to the individual schools websites.

The commuter rail service to Wellington also provides easy access to a large number of private, state integrated and state schools.

The region also has 23 preschools, 6 kindergartens, a network of parent run Playcentres, 6 Kohanga Reo (total immersion Maori language preschool) and numerous home based care services.

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Nga Manu Nature Reserve is a 14-hectare reserve at the north eastern corner of Ngārara. It encompasses the largest single remaining remnant of coastal lowland swamp forest on the Kapiti Coast. It was established in 1974 when the Nga Manu Trust leased the land from Moss Smith.

Since then, the Trust has bought the land outright and developed the reserve, creating wetlands, planting many indigenous trees and shrubs, and building aviaries and animal enclosures which house numerous native birds and lizards, including the ancient tuatara.

The Nga Manu Trust also plays an important role in wildlife breeding programmes, research on the species that inhabit the reserve, and education and awareness programmes.
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The Enviroschools programme supports children and young people in schools to plan, design and implement sustainability projects and become catalysts for change.

The Enviroschools kaupapa (philosophy) is to create a healthy, peaceful and sustainable world through fostering a generation of people to instinctively think and act sustainably.

Eight schools and preschools in the Kapiti Coast district are members of the Enviroschools network:

  1. Kapanui School
  2. Kapiti College
  3. Little Earth Montessori Kapiti
  4. Paraparaumu Playcentre
  5. Paraparaumu School
  6. Raumati South Kindergarten Silver
  7. Raumati South School Silver
  8. Waikanae Kindergarten