Poll: 83 percent of locals want Government to step in and save Kāpiti Airport

Kāpiti residents are adamant their local airport should be saved, according to a new poll commissioned by the Save Kāpiti Airport campaign.

The survey of locals found 85 percent oppose the airport's closure and 83 percent believe the Government should step in and stop the proposed closure.

Tim Costley, spokesperson for Save Kāpiti Airport, said the poll results send a strong message to the Templeton Group, the airport's owners. 

"Our community does not want the airport to close. They see through the spin and understand what an important asset the airport is," Costley said.

"An overwhelming 87 percent say the issue is important to them. It's time Templeton stopped the spin and began listening to the community."

Some locals also believe the airport would play a major role in air support should a major earthquake hit the Wellington region. 

The survey was conducted between March 5 and 8. The number of respondents has not been disclosed, but it's said to have a margin of error of +/-3.26 percent. 

The results:

  • 78.1 percent of residents agree or strongly agree the Kāpiti Coast Airport is an important economic asset for the community
  • 82.3 percent agree or strongly agree the Kāpiti Coast Airport is vital for Civil Defence in case of a major earthquake in the Wellington region
  • 80.7 percent agree Kāpiti Coast Airport is a vital lifeline for medical emergencies.

The poll results align with a survey the Kāpiti Coast District Council conducted in December 2020 which found 87 percent of respondents agreed it is important to have a working or operational airport in Kāpiti. 

Costley said it's very clear the community wants to save the airport and that the time has come for local MPs and the Government to listen to the message coming from Kāpiti residents.

"Although they have not supported the airport until now, it's time for the MPs to start listening to the community they represent," he said.

"Our community is in a David vs Goliath battle – we're up against international finance and interests, and property developers who appear more interested in profits than people, and seem bent on cutting up our community's airport for personal profit. Kāpiti does not want to lose its airport; collectively, we all agree it's an important asset, any way you look at it.

"Once the airport is gone, we won't get it back," Costley said.

The airport property and the land surrounding it was sold to developers in 2019, just two years after a change in the Kāpiti Coast District Council's district plan which would allow supermarkets, housing, department stores and industrial units to be built on the land.