The Kāpiti Coast is an important and significant creative region in New Zealand. Home to one of country’s largest creative workforces (as a percentage of the local workforce) with hundreds of studio artists, musicians, performing artists, design studios, writers, film makers and other creative practitioners, the Kāpiti Coast has long been a creative destination.
Unsurprisingly, the Kāpiti Coast consistently ranks in fourth position in the annual national Infometrics Creativity Index. The region also has one of the highest rates of self-employment at 29%, double the national average, and this includes creative businesses.
Kāpiti is well positioned to advance creative visitor attraction initiatives, building on its regional creative strengths. The annual Māoriland Film Festival, Festival of the Pots, Kāpiti Arts Trail and other creative events contribute to a strong creative region.
With support from Creative Kāpiti, the creative industries are now recognised as a key sector in the Kāpiti Economic Development Strategy with priority actions to support Creative Kāpiti to develop an industry-led action plan, access to skills and training opportunities and develop creative visitor attraction projects.
The close proximity to Wellington city, a UNESCO City of Film where national arts institutions, tertiary training providers and key national arts events are located offers additional opportunities for Kāpiti’s highly mobile creative workforce, as does the ease of access to nearby cities Hutt City, Porirua, Palmerston North and Whanganui, and partner airports offering a direct gateway to Auckland city and the South Island.
The Kāpiti Coast has distinct townships, each with a slightly different creative character for leisurely exploration. Browse our directory to create your own tour of these towns.
Māoriland Creative Hub is home to the Southern Hemisphere’s largest annual indigenous film festival, the Toi Matarau Gallery, rangatahi events and more throughout the year.
Ōtaki Pottery Club hosts a range of pottery qualifications and classes all year round and has recently opened the Tote Modern Gallery. The annual Festival of the Pots is a growing regional attraction that attracts thousands of people.
The town of Ōtaki is also home to Artel Gallery + Store, representing the largest concentration of artists on the Kāpiti Coast. Along with Hori, State 1 Designs, performances by the Ōtaki Players and numerous studio artists such as Lorna Tawhiti, Jennifer Turnbull, and more that can be found in our Directory.
Currently in development, The Mirek Smisek Trust in partnership with NZTA is working to relocate two historic beehive kilns and develop an arts centre at Te Horo.
The region also has one of the highest rates of self-employment at 29%, double the national average.
Home to the district’s art gallery, Mahara Gallery has a full exhibition programme throughout the calendar year and is currently fundraising to double its exhibition space as part of redevelopment plans. The town of Waikanae is also home to an annual classical concert programme developed by the Waikanae Music Society, and home to many visual artists and other creative practitioners that you can search in our Directory.
About Paraparaumu & Raumati
The region’s biggest town, Paraparaumu, is home to many design practices, public art installations, and a new $12m performing arts centre, Te Raukura ki Kāpiti that has already hosted the NZSO, RNZB, and other headline acts.
Many of the region’s professional musicians, performing arts groups and organisations regularly perform in Paraparaumu. Coasters Musical Theatre and Kāpiti Playhouse have a regular programme of events and several hospitality businesses regularly host live gigs featuring the region’s professional musicians and bands. The Local Scene is a very popular live music event attended by hundreds of people and worth building into your itinerary.
The Lindale Village is home to several co-located creative businesses and a new artist’s guild, and the Big Mac Slabs Creative Centre also represents and exhibits many different designers, sculptors and artists from the region.
Paraparaumu Beach is home to Tohorā, a multi-media public art installation by Kereama Taepa featuring lighting and sound effects invoking the journeying of whales.
The world’s largest bronze sculpture is currently being developed as part of several life sized humpback whales, to be installed in central Paraparaumu in the next two years. Whalesong is a multi-million, privately funded project that will be the largest sculptural installation in New Zealand.
Check out the Directory to view the range of design practices and artist studios in the town.
A variety of creative events are regularly held at the local village hall, St. Peter’s Hall, ranging from exhibitions to concerts. The popular Mulled Wine Concerts featuring a range of classical music concerts and the Paekākāriki Art Studios featuring the work of several artists are also popular attractions. Check out the Directory to see the range of artist studios and more in Paekākāriki and make time to do the Paekākāriki Arts Walk when visiting.