Influence of Wellington Metropolitan Area
The strong influence exerted by the Wellington metropolitan area upon the Horowhenua stems from a number of causes. An important part of the capital's milk and fresh-vegetable supplies are drawn from the Otaki and Levin districts. Unfortunately the area of market-garden land at Otaki has been severely reduced during the last decade with the expansion of housing in the borough, the competition between non-agricultural and agricultural land uses being an unwelcome characteristic of increasing metropolitan penetration. Between Paekakariki and Waikanae the poor sand-dune and peat country has been adopted by the beach settlements. Originally they were composed largely of weekend baches, but now they are acquiring a more permanent (part retired, part commuter) population. Evidence of this can be seen in the establishment of a post-primary school, the appearance of a few small factories, and the growing retail centres. The impulses behind the development have been the need for recreational areas on the part of the city dwellers, the attractions of beach and sunshine, and the increasing mobility of the population. Significantly, a greater degree of commercialisation is entering the recreational activities of the settlements, especially with the establishment of motels. Undoubtedly, during the next decade the developments on the Golden Coast, as it is figuratively named, will serve to integrate more closely the future of the southern Horowhenua with that of the Wellington region. Because of the fundamental duality of the Manawatu-Horowhenua, one can reasonably expect the polarisation of the region around the two centres of Wellington and Palmerston North.