Kapiti mayor K Gurunathan is going into battle.

He will be taking part in the Rokkaku business house challenge, on behalf of the council, on both days of the upcoming Otaki Kite Festival.

About 15 Otaki businesses and organisations compete to bring down each other's kite in a regular feature of the kite festival at Otaki Beach.

The last one flying is the winner.


It will be the first time council, which supports the festival via its major events fund, has taken part in the battle.

Kite artist and flyer Yvonne de Mille made the kite specially for the Otaki Promotions Group to present to the mayor so he could participate.

Otaki Promotions Group chairman Ian Carson was delighted the mayor had agreed to participate in the Rokkaku challenge.

"He'll be up against a lot of other amateur flyers but I know he's competitive so it should be great fun to watch."

Up to 18,000 people are expected at the festival, coming from around the country and overseas.

Several Australian flyers are bringing their kites this year.

"One of the highlights will be the Phoenix Kite Collective from Queensland, who will be flying stunt kites to music," Mr Carson said.

"World-famous Peter Lynn Kites of Ashburton will again bring their huge show kites to Otaki Beach."

The festival also has plenty of food and craft stalls, stage entertainment, the Harcourts Big Dig and lots of other things to do and see.

"It's a free event, so visitors can bring the whole family to browse the stalls, go for a swim, watch the spectacular kites and entertainment, ride the kite buggy, buy some kites or bring their own kites to fly."

The Otaki Kite Festival is on from February 10-11.