New Zealand’s first ever shopping centre, Coastlands, is celebrating its 50th anniversary this month.
Located in Kapiti, the centre opened in 1968 after accountant Ray Spackman (now known as Mr Coastlands) visited Australia and realised that malls were the way of the future. It took five years for Spackman to convince the community, local government and financial institutions that a shopping centre would benefit the local area.
But when Coastlands first opened, it was described by the local newspaper as “the day the whole district has been waiting for”.
The shopping centre eventually became one of the first malls to trade on Saturdays, attracting shoppers from all over the Wellington region.
Kapiti Coast has also become one of the fastest growing districts in the country since and now has a population of over 53,000.
In the past 50 years, the shopping centre has played an important role in the community, from investing $150 million in developments including Takari House last year to being the largest employer on the coast and supporting local organisations. In the past 15 years, Coastlands donated $ 4 million in sponsorship.
“As a significant business in Kapiti, we have always felt a strong community connection right from the early days, and are proud of the fact that many of our sponsorships have been in place for many years. As an example, we have been ribbon day sponsors for Kapiti Athletics Club for well over 30 years,” said Richard Mansell, CEO at Coastlands.
Health for life Community Health Stores has been a Coastlands tenant for over 20 years.
Director Chris Torr said:“We love trading in Coastlands because, unlike other malls in NZ, it is locally owned and operated and strongly supports the local community. We are so fortunate to have a mall that reflects local values and provides a pleasant place to shop, meet and relax.”
To celebrate the 50th anniversary, a street party will be taking place at the Coastlands car park this Saturday 9 November from 5-9pm, featuring live music, 15 food trucks and a free bouncy castle.