Protesters gathered outside the Westpac bank in Waikanae's Mahara Place this afternoon to draw light to concerns about the branch's potential closure.

Braving the slight rainfall, protesters all of ages came together to fight what some called a "ridiculous" and "disadvantageous" situation.

Westpac, which was set to decide which branches to close by the end of September, had 19 national branches including Waikanae on its radar.

According to Tali Williams of New Zealand's First Union, Westpac's reason for the possible closure stemmed from less over-the-counter transactions at the Waikanae branch.


She said despite online banking use being on the rise, Waikanae had one of the largest populations of over 65-year-olds in the country, including visually impaired customers and those who struggled with dementia and relied on a face-to-face service.

If the Westpac branch closed, the closest branch for Waikanae residents would be in Paraparaumu.

Kapiti Coast District Council councillor K Gurunathan said while he realised it was a commercial world, the level of profits the branch was making contrasted with its prospective closing.

"It's a bit rich for Aussie bank Westpac to close its Waikanae branch when in the last financial year they made a profit of $916 million, which was six per cent up from the previous year's profits.

"One reason the bank is giving is that there aren't enough sale opportunities including the sale of products like life insurance.

"Waikanae, which was voted the best little town in New Zealand recently, is poised for growth with the huge Maypole subdivision and the expected stimulation once the Kapiti expressway and Transmission Gully projects are completed.

"It's another example of corporations not interested in their social obligations."