Mayor Mike Says
This page has the latest news from the Mayor Mike Tana.
Our vibrant city centre
Have you checked out our city centre lately? We’ve made good inroads in our work to revitalise the Porirua City centre and we’ve committed to investing $21 million over 10 years to this project. We’re continuing to support local businesses by enhancing our public spaces, and we’re starting to see real results.
Our award-winning Porirua food kiosk shows how well a quality venue and vendor can work together in the city. With the removal of the i-site building we’ve got a new green space that can be used by businesses and the community.
Last month we launched a new mural that celebrates Porirua City. Through public consultation during our city’s 50th anniversary, we gathered suggestions from residents of iconic spaces, places and people, which have been brought to life in the mural.
Following requests from the community for a weekend market in the city centre, we’re seeking organisations or an operator to manage a new high-quality market in Cobham Court.
The recent sale of the former NZ Post building for residential apartments and new commercial premises, and the agreement signed last year with The Wellington Company to build up to 18 Citiblox units mark a new phase of residential living in Porirua City.
Cobham Court will undergo some further improvements this year, removing the canopy poles and building a new children’s play area. We’ve also had some great new high quality businesses open recently in the area, which contributes to the new buzz that’s happening in the city.
The Night Markets on the last Thursday of every month, Pop-up Porirua, the Waitangi Day Festival of the Elements and Christmas in Cobham Court showed residents and visitors some of what the city centre has to offer and we’re keen to get more people along to enjoy it. I invite you to come and check it out.
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New links create opportunities for Porirua
Great changes are afoot for Porirua, with the Transmission Gully Motorway (TGM) project and two new link roads set to transform the region.
Construction of Porirua City’s link roads is underway, with completion of works set to coincide with the opening of the new Transmission Gully Motorway in 2020. The two new link roads – the Waitangirua Link Road and Whitby Link Road – will connect Porirua to the motorway.
The link roads will be part of the Porirua City Council’s local roading network designed for a 50km/h operating speed and will be up and running when TGM opens.
TGM will pass through the rural areas to the east of Porirua and Whitby and will have connections to Porirua City's local roading network at Kenepuru Drive (near Bowland), Warspite Avenue (near Waitangirua Mall), the southern end of James Cook Drive, and State Highway 58 just east of Pāuatahanui.
The new roads will provide people with easier, faster, more reliable access from Wellington, the Hutt, Kāpiti Coast and the lower North Island. Traffic will be distributed across the network with improved traffic flows, and it’ll also be easier to move around the region.
We’re looking forward to having a more reliable and resilient roading system in Porirua. Earthquakes and flooding in November 2016 resulted in slips, road closures and gridlocked traffic throughout the lower North Island and showed how important having better connections is.
The link roads and TGM will also open up new areas of Porirua for residential and business growth. Regionally, we’re in a great central location and we can provide a resilient cost-effective option.
Creation of the link roads will also provide better access to Belmont Regional Park, our fantastic parks and the walking and mountain biking tracks on our doorstep.
Find out more by visiting the TGM info centre that’s coming to Porirua soon. We’ll announce more on Facebook!
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There’s lots happening at the start of 2017
This year is shaping up well, with lots of awesome things happening in and around Porirua.
The Symphony at the Lagoon held in January was a great success and I’m keen for this free family friendly evening to become an annual cultural event. It showcased local young talent the Virtuoso Strings Orchestra, who played alongside Orchestra Wellington, with the big guns – cannons –ending the evening with a bang.
This year we’re marking the 25th anniversary of the Waitangi Day Festival of the Elements, which celebrates the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi and the rich multi-cultural society that makes up Porirua city.
There’ll be more local and regional music coming up later this month with the Summer Concert Series at Aotea Lagoon from 17–19 February, with the first night featuring Aotea College’s jazz band.
The Porirua Grand Traverse on 2 April will see the city buzzing with a sporty type of energy as multi-sport enthusiasts take on the challenge, while checking out some of Porirua’s amazing scenery. There’ll also be individual races and a Fun/Run Walk event for anyone who wants to give it a go. I’m going to be part of a team entering the multi-sport race, so am doing some mountain bike training in the lead-up to the event.
The Aotea splash pad will be launched later this year and, although it’s a little late for the summer season, will provide another great free family friendly destination for Porirua residents for many years to come.
It’s great to see our dynamic city evolving. Late last year we installed a time capsule at Baxter’s Knob lookout, with photos, videos, newspapers, plans and artefacts from the past. The capsule captured some important early memories of Aotea and a number of groups and individuals provided their predictions and visions for Porirua’s future. One of our younger residents, Olivia Hoffmann, helped me install the time capsule and I’m hoping that she’ll be in the area and part of the re-opening when that happens in another 50 years or so.
We’re on the cusp of something big, with heaps of exciting projects in the pipeline and happening in Porirua. The opening of the Countdown in Aotea is just the start – watch this space.
If you see me out and about come and say hi and have a chat – it’d be great to meet you.
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It’s certainly been an action-packed end to the year for Porirua. The new Council got their feet wet in the flooding that followed the earthquakes in mid-November and are now fully immersed in Council business.
Of course there’s still a lot of repair work to be done but the Council is well on track, having resolved half of the jobs created by the event. Initial work has also been completed on areas needing longer-term fixes, and all assessments on other less serious jobs will be completed by the end of the year.
Porirua has remained open for business following the earthquakes and it’s been bustling with activity. Christmas in Cobham Court saw people flocking to the centre of the city to soak up the summer sun, and take part in four nights of music, food and activities.
It kicked off an action-packed summer of free family friendly fun. Highlights will be this Thursday’s Night Market, the Symphony at the Lagoon in January, the Waitangi Day Festival of the Elements and the Summer Concert Series in February, and the Porirua Grand Traverse in April.
Christmas Day at the Arena is a great example of Porirua’s community spirit – last year’s event saw grateful families, awesome volunteers and Porirua businesses coming together to create a special Porirua-style celebration.
It’s really what Christmas and the festive season is all about – thinking about others and spending time with friends and family. It’s been great to get out and about and talk with so many of you and I’m looking forward to meeting more of you in the New Year. Take care of each other and be safe out there.
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If it’s long or strong, be gone
The 7.8 magnitude earthquake on 14 November brought with it a high risk of tsunami on the eastern coast of both islands. There was a lot of confusion from people in a number of areas – including Porirua – about whether to evacuate or not.
Mayor Mike Tana says it only takes a few minutes to check whether your house or workplace is in the tsunami zone. “People need to know what to do after a large earthquake. It’s pretty simple stuff – if it’s long or strong, get to higher ground if you’re in the tsunami zone,” he said.
“The earthquake was a big wake-up call in more ways than one. In Porirua, an earthquake is likely to be the only warning of a tsunami if it’s generated nearby (like in Cook Strait) so don’t wait for further instructions, notifications or advice – evacuate immediately after the shaking has stopped,” said Mayor Mike.
“Part of being prepared is knowing where to evacuate to if your house is in the tsunami zone. A few years ago when my wife was on the Kura Street kindy committee, our house was one place for the children to go if there was a tsunami threat and we kept provisions just in case. So it’s a good idea to have a plan in place of where you would go and how you’d get there. If you can get there on foot – all the better because roads can get jammed with traffic very quickly.”
If it’s hard to stand up, or a rolling earthquake that lasts a minute or more, or the ocean behaves strangely, evacuate immediately if you are in a red, orange or yellow zone.
“Don’t wait for a siren to evacuate or for an official warning. Porirua does not have a tsunami siren and a tsunami may be only minutes away. Stay out of the tsunami zone until an official 'all clear' is given,” he said.
You can see if your house is in the zone by using the “Tsunami Evacuation Zones Map” address finder: https://goo.gl/UpNRA2
More info about tsunami and evacuation zones and links to printable maps for each area: https://goo.gl/IIzm5m
You can also search the word “tsunami” for more information and downloadable maps of your suburb. If you don’t have access to a computer, you can call our information centre to check your address during business hours on (04) 237 5089 or 0800 237 150.
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The Porirua Spirit
The Porirua spirit is alive and well – with people pulling together in the face of days of earthquakes, floods and major slips across the city.
It’s been tough for everyone and yet people have still taken time to help others. They’ve shovelled mud and debris for neighbours, provided hot drinks and food for people stuck in traffic jams and generally supported one another.
Some people have had to leave their homes while others have had big clean-up jobs to do and the aftershocks keep coming. It can be an unsettling time so it’s reassuring to know we have a community that looks out for each other. Thanks everyone for your patience, kindness and generosity throughout it all.
Fire, Police, Ambulance and other emergency response staff, government agencies, contractors and the Council have pulled together to respond to the earthquakes, flooding and slips. They’ve worked long hours to assess, repair, make safe or evacuate areas where people or property are at risk and they’ll continue to respond as and when they’re needed.
It’s been a massive response and clean-up job involving many people and everyone involved has been fantastic while we work to get things back on track. Schools and businesses have also been awesome – opening their doors and providing information, shelter, food and assistance.
It’s timely to check our emergency supplies are well stocked and we all have an emergency plan in place for ourselves and our family members. www.getprepared.org.nz has great information on what you can do.
If you see further problems around the city, please call the Council on (04) 237 5089 or 0800 237 150 to report them.
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My first priorities
I’m really excited to be given the honour and the opportunity to be Porirua’s Mayor.
Working well together as a council is a priority for me. My first task is to get to know the new and returning councillors and select a Deputy Mayor and the Chair of Te Komiti.
I’m looking forward to working with the councillors. They’re an awesome group of highly competent people, who are keen to get engaged with council business and with the community. We all bring different backgrounds, experience and abilities to our roles – and we’re all culturally diverse as well. This new council encapsulates different perspectives, with leaders who have strong links to their community.
We’ll continue to build on the work of the previous council as we determine and prioritise other things that need to be done. Since we haven’t got enough money to do everything at once – we’ll work with the community to determine what’s important to you.
Keeping children at the heart of our decisions will continue to be a key priority. Work to revitalise and modernise the CBD is shaping up and getting more businesses and residents to set up in the city will help strengthen and link the community. I want Porirua to be a great place to live and work and to have more people come and enjoy what we have.
I’m looking forward to working with Porirua’s new-look Council and meeting more of you when I’m out and about around Porirua – come and say hi and have a chat.
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