Handrails have been installed alongside both sides of the Coastlands Theatre, inside the new Te Raukura ki Kāpiti performing arts centre.

The installation came following community feedback after the launch of the centre in February.

"It's an important piece of equipment for accessibility in terms of getting up to seats," centre manager Sonia Hardie said.

"Getting up stairs can be tricky for some people so the handrail helps heaps because beforehand they were leaning on the chairs to come up.


"We did receive feedback from locals who came who said they did struggle to get to their seats and that we would need handrails so we worked on that promptly.

"It was installed during level 3.

"It's really good to have them there."

The Coastlands Theatre now features handrails. Photo / David Haxton
The Coastlands Theatre now features handrails. Photo / David Haxton

The theatre also has a lift providing another option to help people get to their seat easier.

The $12 million centre, on Kāpiti College land, was officially opened by Arts, Culture and Heritage Associate Minister Grant Robertson before Covid-19 hit and the place closed down temporarily.

Three events had to be canned including a gig by Hot Potato Band, an album release gig by Charlotte Kerrigan and a seminar called Engaging The Brain by neuroscience educator and presenter Nathan Wallis.

The centre, which had reopened for students, could now hold events for up to 100 people but interest was down a bit as people were getting used to the new normal.

"I'm working on a little something so we can hopefully get some of the community back here," Sonia said.


"Hopefully a bit of comedy coming up.

"We're just working out when we might be able to do something like that.

"I think everyone could do with a bit of comedy at the moment."

Te Raukura ki Kāpiti is officially open
Iwi gift name to Kāpiti's new $12m arts centre
Showtime for Kāpiti's Te Raukura performing arts centre
Iwi gift name to Kāpiti's new $12m arts centre

The main theatre has 331 seats so it was easy to create spacing between people in terms of social distancing requirements.

"Hopefully those restrictions become less and less over the coming weeks.


"It's a bit more restricting only having 100 seats but we're looking at different budgets and options to see what we can do to get people in.

"And people obviously have to feel comfortable with gathering and spending their money on a ticket to something.

"I know people are ready to get out there, start socialising, seeing things, and supporting the arts community."

A good way of keeping up to date with events at the centre is signing up to the centre's e-newsletter.

Just go to the centre's website https://teraukura.nz/ and click on the 'contact us' tab to find the e-newsletter link.