Latest News

This page has the content from the latest media releases or news issued by Porirua City Council

For previous media releases in pdf format, please refer to the Media Releases page.

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27 April 2017

Porirua working for children and young people

A report by the Porirua City Council on the status of children and young people is the first ever to examine a range of local data that will help the future wellbeing of Porirua’s children.

The Status Report – Children and Young People in Porirua 2017 collates wellbeing indicators for children and young people aged 0–24 years across a range of areas including health, education, employment, engagement, recreation, satisfaction with living in Porirua, housing and safety.

The Council City Direction Committee today agreed to use information from the report when they begin planning our city’s Long-term Plan 2018–28.

City Direction Chairperson Cr ‘Ana Coffey says she is looking forward to discussing the report’s findings further with colleagues during an upcoming Council workshop.

“The status report tells us about how our children and young people find living in Porirua and it provides helpful information on their health, education, feelings of safety and connectedness and (for those a bit older), what their employment opportunities are.

It’s confirmation of the work we’ve been doing in a number of areas. “We’ve been building on the annual workshops with children and young people that look at our annual and long-term plans and have seen an increase in submissions from children and young people.

“We’ve encouraged participation in design projects such as the Aotea Splashpad and Eastern Porirua Recreation Project and we’ve partnered with Rotary for the primary school leadership awards and supported the Porirua Youth2Work movement,” says Cr Coffey.

“The report will help the Council review the way it supports children and young people and make changes if required. It also provides a platform for advocacy for issues outside the control or direct influence of local government.

“In some areas it also includes ethnic breakdowns and national comparisons, which will help us understand our community’s needs better,” she says.

“It enables us to easily identify areas where progress is being made, or where the situation is staying the same or deteriorating. These findings give us a good frame of reference to assess whether or not we need to make changes to the activities and services we provide for children and young people,” she says.

Read more about this strategic priority

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21 April 2017

New wetland and dune area for Porirua Harbour


Councillor Anita Baker at the site of a major Porirua Harbour restoration project due to start next week.

A major project to protect and enhance Te Awarua-o-Porirua Harbour will include the creation of a new wetland and sand dune area.

Expect to see diggers around the Porirua Stream Mouth later this month as they stabilise the erosion-prone harbour edge by recontouring and laying rock rip rap, plus create the dune to protect a new wetland area that will be planted behind.

“Our community tell us how much they value the harbour and this work is about improving its health, particularly the area around the stream mouth. It’s taken a number of years of planning and approvals to reach this point – so it’s really exciting to see work about to begin,” says Councillor Anita Baker, Te Awarua-o-Porirua Harbour and Catchment Joint Committee Chairperson.

“The potential for restoration of this area has been recognised in a number of studies and is a key project in our Porirua Harbour and Catchment Strategy and Action Plan,” says Cr Baker.

The project is a partnership with Greater Wellington Regional Council and will create a self-sustaining ecosystem to attract and support more native wildlife and plant life, while improving the way it looks for residents and visitors.

"It will really benefit everyone who uses and enjoys the harbour,” says Greater Wellington Councillor Barbara Donaldson.

The work is due to start later this month and take around 10 weeks. It will see improvements to the area from the Porirua Stream Mouth, behind Pak n Save, to the Semple St entrance, off Wineera Drive behind Big Save Furniture.

Rock rip rap will be placed on the foreshore around the stream mouth and at the Semple St end to stop erosion that has eaten away many metres of shoreline.

In between, a dune will be built up to about one metre using locally sourced coarse sand material, and the wetland will be planted behind. A stream that runs into this area will be diverted through the wetland.

“The work will return this part of the harbour to a more natural state of tidal sand flats and salt marshes that have been heavily modified over the years,” Cr Donaldson says.

The harbour walkway will remain open, with one small diversion in place, while the work is underway.

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20 April 2017

NASA stars come to Porirua

NASA Astronaut Dr Yvonne Cagle. NASA Scientist Dr Jen Blank.

NASA Astronaut Dr Yvonne Cagle and NASA Scientist Dr Jen Blank

A fantastical space world is being created in Porirua City for an out-of-this-world experience.

NASA Astronaut Dr Yvonne Cagle and NASA Scientist Dr Jen Blank are coming to Porirua as part of the 2017 Space & Science Festival.

The pair will be formally welcomed at Takapūwāhia Marae on Saturday 6 May before fronting a free public event in Porirua on Sunday 7 May that will see them speak and take questions before a screening of the movie Hidden Figures.

Then on Monday 8 May they will share their inspiring life stories with Porirua students.

“Getting NASA to visit Porirua was one of my campaign promises and we’re going to make sure it’s a fantastic experience for our community,” says Porirua Mayor Mike Tana.

“We’ve had a massive response with all tickets to Sunday’s public event selling out within hours of being released.”

“It’s going to be a very special event with Te Rauparaha Arena being transformed into a fantastical space world that you’ll enter through a 20m wormhole and airlock door. Inside there will be stalactites and stalagmites that glow in the dark and planets hanging from the ceiling, an astronaut will be flying overhead and 2m high rockets and moon rocks will adorn the stage. You’ll be shown to your seat by neon-clad ushers and a DJ will be playing spacey sounds. It’s going to be amazing.” says Mayor Tana.

The 2017 Space & Science Festival is offering a host of events across Wellington from 6 - 20 May. It’s run by a not-for-profit organisation formed entirely by volunteers who are passionate about inspiring the next generation of New Zealanders, says chairman Lee Mauger.

He’s thrilled that Porirua has jumped on board with the festival and given the community the chance to see the two inspirational speakers.

Dr Yvonne Cagle is a NASA astronaut and a doctor in medicine. Prior to her selection to the NASA astronaut corps in 1996, she served with the U.S. Air Force as a Senior Flight Surgeon.

Dr Jen Blank is a Senior Research Scientist with NASA AMES Research Centre, where she works in the field of Astrobiology. She is also member of the Mars Science Laboratory science team, a group of over 400 scientists using data from the Curiosity Rover to explore Gale Crater on Mars.

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18 April 2017

Porirua City Centre upgrade wins another award

This image shows the new kiosk, open lawn and revamped carpark area that has won a New Zealand Landscape Architecture Award.

The sophisticated revamp of Porirua’s CBD has won a New Zealand Landscape Architect’s Award of Excellence.

The work to create the new kiosk, revamp the carpark and open up the lawn space was recognised in the NZILA Pride of Place Landscape Architecture Awards announced last week.

“This award reinforces that we are on the right track to creating a vibrant city centre that is attractive to residents, businesses and visitors,” says Porirua Mayor Mike Tana.

“The judges described the revamp as an inspiring piece of public landscape architecture that lifts the bar to new heights and said it treated visitors to a sophisticated urban aesthetic. That’s amazing feedback.”

The city is investing more than $21 million over 10 years on the city centre makeover.

“It’s not all about the physical revamp; we’re also encouraging more social use of the space with events such as our monthly Porirua Night Markets.”

The kiosk has previously won a New Zealand Institute of Architecture Award and a Resene award for its great use of colour.

The city worked with Isthmus Group on the design and development.

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12 April 2017

Recognise a volunteer with a Porirua Civic Award

Do you know of a volunteer doing amazing work in your community? Then nominate them for a Porirua Civic Award.

They can be nominated for any significant contribution, service, activity or achievement across any field, except sporting as these are already recognised through the Porirua Sports Awards later in the year.

The Porirua Civic Awards are an annual event to recognise Porirua citizens for their voluntary service to the community.

The nomination needs to be made by any two Porirua residents or two executive officers of any local group or organisation.

Nomination forms and guidelines are available on our Civic Awards Nominations page; from the Council’s front counter; email enquiries@pcc.govt.nz or phone 237-5089.

Nominations close 28 April 2017.

 

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6 April 2017

No change to Easter Sunday trading

Shops in Porirua will stay closed on Easter Sunday with Porirua City Council voting yesterday to retain the status quo.

The Government amended the Shop Trading Hours Act 1990 last year to allow local councils to adopt a policy giving retailers the option to trade on Easter Sunday.

At a meeting today, after a month of consultation, the Council voted to retain the status quo, meaning there will be no Easter Sunday trading this year.

Councillors carefully considered submissions from those in support of Easter Sunday Trading and those who were opposed and recognised that opinions differed in the community.

There was a theme from a number of submitters recognising that there would be benefits in giving businesses the choice to open.

But Mayor Mike Tana said that submissions mainly favoured keeping Easter Sunday as a day for family time.

“There were two flavours coming through and quite strong views on both sides,” Mayor Tana said.

"We’ve decided to keep things as they are for now – but this is an issue that can be revisited in the future.”

 

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5 April 2017

Whatever the weather

Our city now has its very own weather station, after years of relying on information from Mana Island.

The new automatic weather station is at Elsdon Park and has been formally opened today (Wednesday 5 April).

It’s great news for the city, Western Ward Councillors ‘Ana Coffey and Mike Duncan say.

Councillors Mike Duncan and ‘Ana Coffey are prepared for any weather at Porirua’s new weather station.
Councillors Mike Duncan and ‘Ana Coffey are prepared for any weather at Porirua’s new weather station.

“This new station means that you’ll now be able to get Porirua weather reports based on real Porirua City information,” says Cr Coffey.
“It’s also a New Zealand first in that we have partnered with a group of agencies who collaborated for the first time to develop the station.”

MetService, NIWA, Wellington Rural Fire Authority, Wellington Water and Greater Wellington Regional Council will all gather weather information from our station – and most joined the city in contributing to its cost.

“It has been a real partnership project,” says Cr Coffey.

The new station will measure:

  • wind speed and direction
  • air temperature and relative humidity
  • rainfall (with a self-emptying rain gauge)
  • soil temperatures to depths of 10, 20, 50 and 100cms
  • grass (frost) temperature
  • the strength of the sun.

It means you will now find real Porirua weather information in the regular MetService reports and NIWA will be able to track our long-term climate data. The Rural Fire Authority will be able to accurately update our fire danger rating, and the city will have better information for our stormwater management and harbour restoration projects.

Porirua colleges will also be able to use and study the data.

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4 April 2017

Good dog owners take care of business

We love our dogs but not the mess their owners leave behind.

And for Donna Pewhairangi, who trims the grass on our city’s popular walkways, it’s a real health and safety issue.

Dealing with dog mess is a daily health and safety issue for Donna Pewhairangi.
Dealing with dog mess is a daily health and safety issue for Donna Pewhairangi.

Despite her best efforts, Donna is often pelted with dog poo as she mows, forcing her to stop work and head for the nearest shower.
“I love dogs. I have one myself, and I can’t understand owners who don’t pick up after their dogs and then bin it,” says Donna.

“It’s always worse in summer and that’s the time young kids and their families are using these areas. It’s such a shame that a few irresponsible owners spoil it for everyone.”

Donna’s patch is from Dolly Varden in Paremata up to Pukerua Bay and the worst areas are Whitby Walkway, Camborne Walkway, Ngāti Toa Domain and the Dolly Varden and Plimmerton Beach foreshores.

Under Porirua’s Pooper Scooper Bylaw dog owners are required to clearly carry something, such as a plastic bag, to pick up after their dogs, yet Donna regularly sees dog owners empty handed.

“It’s really easy to tie a few bags to your dog lead so you always have some handy, and keep a few spares in the car so you aren’t caught short,” she says.

We can use recycled bags for the job – supermarket fruit and veggie bags, product packaging, newspaper wrappers or old bread bags – or for around $2 you can buy rolls of bags from several local stores.

“Dog owners in Porirua are lucky to have such gorgeous spots to walk their dogs and bins are handy to all our walkways.

“It’s not asking much for owners to clean up after their dogs and keep our beautiful walkways clean for everyone to enjoy.”

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3 April 2017

 

We’re changing

Over the past few months we’ve been talking to lots of you about what you love about Porirua.

We want you to feel informed, understood and important and we’re working to communicate with you better.

Talking with our customers has also made us look more closely at how we identify ourselves to the city, says Council Chief Executive Wendy Walker.

“The current logo with the words Porirua City Council makes the council the centre of attention rather than the attention being on the city we all love. So we are changing this with a fresh new visual identity that puts the spotlight on our city rather than on the council.”
Ms Walker says that streamlining and simplifying our visual identity will deliver better value for money over time.

“We’re very mindful of spending prudently and will be taking a phased approach to roll out the new visual identity, so for a while you’ll see both logos operating alongside each other. We think this is okay while we use existing stock and refresh our look and feel as materials need replacing or renewing.”

Mayor Mike Tana says it’s about being more customer and community focused.

“We want to emphasise how inviting people are here, how connected to our natural environment people feel, and how proud we all are of our diversity. Porirua is a great place and we want to shout it from the hilltops!”

Beginning this week, you’ll start to see this fresh approach being used both in our words and in our images.

We hope you like it.

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Let’s korero about the year ahead

Cover - Annual Plan 2017-18 Consultation Document. “Let’s talk about the year ahead” is this year’s consultation document for the proposed annual plan and we’re keen to find out what you think about it.

“We’re planning for next year, so we’ll be out and about over the next few weeks to korero with people about what’s coming up and some of the changes we think we need to make for the coming year,” says Mayor Mike Tana.

“There are lots of great things happening in our city and we have some important decisions to make, to ensure we get the right mix of services.”

Chief Executive Wendy Walker says we’re committed to making rates as affordable as possible.

The plan outlines the effects of last year’s capital valuations on rates and the options for reducing that impact, including the introduction of a City Development Rate on commercial properties.

Ms Walker says one key decision is how to respond to the recent property revaluations, which have changed the distribution of rates according to the new capital values.

“We don’t receive any additional money as a result of property revaluations. The change is in how much each sector pays. Our preferred option would see the commercial, rural and residential sector rates divided in similar proportions to what’s been in place for many years – this seems fairer for the city as a whole.

“However, there are four options in the consultation document and we look forward to your feedback.”

“We also want your thoughts on whether we should pay Council workers a living wage, improve our 50-year-old city office building, and how we can reduce waste sent to our landfill,” she says.

Mayor Tana and the councillors are looking forward to engaging with people during the consultation period.

“By working together on the plans for our city, we can get the balance right. Sharing your views is easy and there are lots of ways to do it,” says Mayor Tana.

Meet the mayor and councillors:

  • at Pātaka, 19 April 11am–1pm
  • at Waitangirua Mall, 26 April 11am–1pm
  • at the Night Market, 27 April from 6–8pm.

We’re also holding workshops for school students on 4 April and a business breakfast on 13 April, 7.30–9am.

All the information is on our website pcc.govt.nz and you can give feedback until 1 May by:

  • filling in an online questionnaire picking up a questionnaire from our libraries or main administration building emailing annualplan@pcc.govt.nz
  • writing to us: Annual Plan, Porirua City Council, PO Box 50218, Porirua 5240.

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Treasuring our taonga

Harbour cleanup team.

Danny and Tania Torea (back left), Mayor Mike Tana (front) and members of the Latter-Day Saints church youth group with some of the things they plucked out of the harbour during the clean up.

Last month’s clean up of the Onepoto arm of Te Awarua-o-Porirua Harbour was a community effort, driven by Ngāti Toa, with youth groups, councillors and members of the public all mucking in to help.

Sharli-Jo Solomon, who is part of the Takapuwahia Village Planning Group, has helped to organise harbour clean ups for more than 10 years, with iwi members and Latter-Day Saints missionaries the driving force behind the efforts.

She says everyone needs to start thinking about what they can do to get our streams and waterways clean and healthy for future generations. “We do this because Te Awarua-o-Porirua Harbour is part of us – it was not just a food basket for our people, it was everything – our taonga.”

“Thanks to Ngāti Toa iwi, the Takapuwahia Village Planning Group, the youth of Latter-Day Saints church group, Raise Up (YMCA), Mayor Mike Tana, councillors and community volunteers for coming along and helping to clean our harbour,” she says. Te Awarua-o-Porirua Whaitua Committee also applauded the efforts of the group.

Together they collected more than 30 bags of rubbish along the Porirua Stream river mouth, around the coast and near the pā. The haul included 65 tyres, 37 cones, four chairs, two trolleys and iron bars, pipes, hoses and roller blades, with the Council supplying gloves, high-vis vests and rubbish bags.

Mayor Tana was stoked to see such a great community turnout. “It’s awesome to work alongside people who are passionate about our environment,” he says.

“Everyone has a part to play to make sure our harbour is healthy by thinking about what’s going down our sinks, drains and gutters to help protect our streams and harbour – even packing your recycling bin so that the rubbish doesn’t blow away helps.

“Stormwater drains don’t go to the treatment plant, but into the nearest stream and the harbour, so it’s important that people don’t wash or tip cleaning products, paint, solvents or waste fuels down those drains.”

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8 March 2017

Aotea Lagoon’s leaking southern pond to become a garden

The small pond at the southern end of Aotea Lagoon is to be turned into a colourful garden. Attempts to fix an ongoing leak in the old concrete base have not been successful.

“We have decided to turn the pond into an herbaceous garden to match the one alongside the rose garden,” says Parks Manager Olivia Dovey.

“We did look at fixing the leak again but it would have involved replacing the concrete base at a cost of around $10,000. We decided that was too high particularly when the lagoon is so close.”

The new garden will include standard roses, fuchsia, Star Magnolia, Port Wine Magnolia and beardtongue.

Work is expected to begin in late March and cost around $2,000.

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2 March 2017

Porirua is buzzing as first electric vehicle charging station goes live

Electric vehicles are being welcomed in to Porirua as the city’s first fast charging, high voltage station goes live.

The station has been installed outside 1 Serlby Place, accessed from the Lydney Place North carpark, adding to the ongoing revitalisation of Porirua’s city centre.

Porirua Mayor Mike Tana gets ready to use the city's new electric vehicle charging station.
Porirua Mayor Mike Tana gets ready to use the city's new electric vehicle charging station.

“Our electric car charging station is already attracting a lot of interest and support,” says Porirua Mayor Mike Tana. “We feel it is important our city has a station for the increasing number of people choosing to drive electric vehicles and we’ve future-proofed the site so we can easily add another charging station as demand increases.”

“Porirua is at the heart of the Wellington region so electric vehicle owners can travel around confidently knowing there’s another charge station in a central location,” says Mayor Tana.

The city worked with ChargeNet NZ, which funded the installation, and Wellington Electricity to join the network of electric car charging stations already in place across the Wellington region.

Porirua’s station has two dedicated 60 minute parking spaces, which give plenty of time to fully charge most electric vehicles. Users will typically pay between $8 and $10 to charge their cars.

Serlby Place carpark was chosen as the best location because it is easy to access, close to a good power source and handy to the city centre. Users can plug in then go shopping for an hour or grab a coffee and a bite to eat.

ChargeNet NZ is installing new electric vehicle charging stations at a rate of around one every two weeks, with the aim of having 100 in place across the country (one every 60 to 70km) on every highway.

Electric vehicles get their power from rechargeable batteries inside the car and most people charge them overnight in their garage.

Mayor Tana says electric vehicles are becoming increasingly popular. “More than half of the country's 2000 electric vehicles were bought in the last year and in Porirua we have 29 electric vehicle owners.”

The cost of a New Zealand-new used electric vehicle starts at around $15,000 and, depending on make, a fully charged vehicle can travel anywhere from 80km to 400km before needing a top up.

“Supporters of electric vehicles say the cost of driving them is a fraction of the cost of petrol or diesel and that it is much kinder on the environment. Infact, they say that if everyone in Porirua City drove a fully electric vehicle, the city’s CO2 emissions would halve,” says Mayor Tana.

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Connect with Porirua

Work on Porirua City’s link roads is underway, with completion 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. There will also be connections to the motorway at Kenepuru Drive and SH58 east of Pāuatahanui.

The 1.45km Whitby Link Road is a new road being built to connect the existing roundabout at the intersection of Navigation Drive and James Cook Drive to the motorway via the Waitangirua Link Road.

The Waitangirua Link Road will start at the intersection of Warspite Avenue and Niagara Street and intersect with the Whitby Link Road before joining up with the motorway at the James Cook Interchange. Work will commence on the Whitby Link Road from the roundabout on Navigation and James Cook Drives, and head south towards the Transmission Gully main alignment.

The link roads will be built to cater for a variety of uses. They will have a 50km/h speed limit, with a 1.5m wide sealed shoulder on both sides for cyclists. A verge width of 3.3m on the side of the roads allows for a footpath to be built in the future.

The estimated cost for both link roads is $33 million, which is the biggest investment the city has ever made, says Mayor Mike Tana.

"The new roading system will provide people with more efficient, safer and more resilient and reliable access from Wellington, the Hutt, Kāpiti Coast and the lower North Island. It will also open up new areas of Porirua for residential and business growth.”

You can find out more about the link roads and the Transmission Gully motorway at the mobile visitor centre in Cobham Court. It has an interactive fly through video of the new motorway, photos from the construction and information about the roads. It is open from 10am to 4pm Monday to Saturday until the end of March.

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Pest-free project casts wider net

14 February 2017

Rats are out and birds are in, as a successful project to protect Porirua City from pests casts its net wider than ever.

Pest Free Plimmerton was launched in May last year, a community driven initiative aiming to increase native bird and lizard life by ridding the area of predators through long-term trapping.

Coordinators Heather Evans and Linda Kerkmeester say the project has been a huge success, with more than 200 traps in the community and around 450 rats caught so far.

Coordinators Heather Evans and Linda Kerkmeester.
Linda Kerkmeester (left) and Heather Evans set one of Pest Free Plimmerton's rat traps.

“There's now one trap for every four households and we're aiming for one in three,” says Linda.

The Department of Conservation funded 80 traps to help get the project up and running and from there it becomes self-funding, as residents sponsor a trap that covers the cost of more traps in backyards.

“It's a really exciting project for community engagement,” Heather says. “Residents are getting on board and they are owning it.”

As well as backyard trappers, the Plimmerton Residents Association has been involved by sponsoring mustelid traps on the rural outskirts, and Plimmerton School has run a tracking and trapping project with students. The project has been such a success that it is now expanding into nearby Camborne, Mana, and Golden Gate.

“We've been approached by keen volunteers wanting to get other areas going, and we got them started by sharing our experience,” Heather says.

Porirua City Council has funded some traps for the expansion into Camborne and Mana and hopes to be able to do more in the future, Parks Manager Olivia Dovey says.

“We are right behind these projects and really keen to help. In the next financial year we hope to be able to set up a proper fund to help with the great work being done in our communities.”

For Heather and Linda, known by some as the Pest Destruction Angels, their motivation is simple – to bring native wildlife back to the community.

Linda says there have been reports of increased birdlife, including bellbirds, moreporks and tui, in Plimmerton since the project began – particularly baby birds.

Councillor Dale Williams, who runs a community garden in Mana, said the pest eradication programmes were great initiatives.

“Keeping predators at bay, and making Porirua City a place full of birdlife, native lizards, plants and gardens is a great goal. It’s fantastic to support local people working together and making a difference!”

Anyone wanting to get involved in trapping can email pestfreemana@gmail.com or pestfreeplim@gmail.com.

For more information, see Pest Free Plimmerton’s Facebook page.


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9 January 2017

Council’s swim school boosted by Water Safety NZ funding

Around 1,500 Porirua children will be taught essential water safety skills by Dash Swim School thanks to funding from Water Safety New Zealand.

Dash is one of the first swim schools to receive funding for Water Safety New Zealand’s new programme Water Skills for Life, which takes a new approach to keeping young people safe in the water.

“Water Safety New Zealand is very pleased to be funding the rollout of Water Skills for Life by Dash Swim School into low decile Porirua schools,” says CEO Jonty Mills.

“This initiative is all about teaching broader fundamental aquatic skills to 5–13-year-olds, so they are equipped for life-long water safety."

Mills says New Zealand’s drowning toll is too high, almost double the Australian drowning rate.

“International research has shown us that one of the most effective ways to bring our high drowning toll down is through teaching core safety skills before focusing on stroke and distance,” he says.

“This will then flow into safer and wider participation in water-based activities, providing students with the knowledge they need to enjoy our pools, beaches, lakes and rivers with confidence.”

Dash will use the $30,000 funding to deliver the programme to low decile schools at a reduced rate.

Lessons cost $3.50 per child per school, but the schools will now pay a contribution of just $1 per student, with the rest covered by the funding.

Ngāti Toa School will be the first local school to be taught the programme this year and as they have their own pool they are getting the lessons for free.

Mayor Mike Tana said the funding was a great boost for Porirua’s young people.

“These are absolutely vital life skills that every child should get the chance to learn, and this funding means we can extend our reach to more children than ever.

“We’re lucky in Porirua to have Dash Swim School, which continues to be a leader in aquatic education, so our children are some of the first to get access to this new programme. This is so important, as sea and harbour are an integral part of our beautiful city.”

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2 February 2017

Porirua’s Peace Memorial to be upgraded to create a strong ceremonial space

A memorial wall acknowledging the local people who have died as a result of war will form part of a major upgrade of Porirua’s Peace Memorial on Te Rauparaha Park.

View of proposed Peace Memorial upgrade.

The upgrade reflects the memorial’s importance as a centre of the city’s war and peace commemorations and will better cater for the growing ANZAC Day crowds.

The Porirua City Council is working with the Returned Services Association on the project and today, Thursday 2 February, the City Delivery Committee recommended funding $517,000 for the upgrade. The decision will go to the full Council on 15 February.

“The Peace Memorial is the centre of war and peace commemorations in Porirua and particularly on ANZAC Day when an increasing number of people, including many youngsters and their families, are attending,” says City Delivery Committee chair Anita Baker.

“This is an opportunity to improve the space around the memorial to strengthen its role as the city’s most important commemorative space and to contribute to the city centre revitalisation project.”

The upgrade will create a space that gives the memorial a strong presence with a large area for ceremonial occasions.

View of proposed Peace Memorial upgrade.

It will include a memorial wall displaying the names of local people who died as a result of war, a larger seating area, a better approach to the memorial from Hagley St over a widened footpath, improved access with two new pedestrian links to Te Rauparaha Arena and Norrie Street from the memorial, and two statues on either side of the memorial; one of a soldier and the other of a woman and children.

The RSA is fundraising to cover the cost of the statues and the plaques to go on the memorial wall.

The design has been developed by the architects involved in Porirua City Centre’s revitalisation in discussion with the RSA’s Porirua War Memorial Project team and the Council, and the project will reflect design elements used in the city centre upgrade.

Porirua War Memorial Project team member Allan Dodson said the project had come about because the RSA felt Porirua needed a better space to commemorate those who had sacrificed their lives in the cause of freedom.

“We are thrilled the Council has given the project its backing and provided funding to ensure we can achieve a really comprehensive, good quality upgrade to recognise those who made the supreme sacrifice,” said Mr Dodson.

The new memorial wall will carry the names of those lost in the Boer War, First and Second World Wars and the Far East Wars and there will be plaques acknowledging the people lost in the New Zealand Wars and as peace givers or peace keepers.

“As part of this project we are also gathering the stories of local people who have served in any armed conflict and so far have around 200 of those stories published on our website www.poriruawarstories.com" said Mr Dodson.

The aim is to complete the upgrade of the Porirua Peace Memorial by October this year to coincide with the commemorative date for the New Zealand Wars and the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Passchendaele where New Zealand suffered its heaviest casualties in one day.

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2 February 2017

Apartment living coming to Porirua city centre

Revitalisation of Porirua’s city centre has been given boost with plans for the city’s first residential apartments – in the former NZ Post building in Serlby Place and an exciting modular apartment development in Station Road.

The sale of the Serlby Place building to The Wellington Company (TWC) will see the top three floors converted for residential use, while the ground floor is earmarked for commercial development to bring new energy to the area.

“We welcome The Wellington Company’s decision to invest in this city centre project. The company has completed its due diligence and the Council is excited about their plans for the building,” says Mayor Mike Tana. “A binding sale and purchase agreement is being signed tomorrow.”

The Council will transfer the legal title to TWC once the company has fully strengthened and redeveloped the building. This will be done by November 2018. In the meantime the Council has granted TWC a two-year lease of the building to allow it to carry out the necessary strengthening and redevelopment work.

“This sale is part of the Council’s move to attract people and businesses to the city centre, which will create greater demand for the services, cafes and shops,” says Mayor Mike.

“It is the second Porirua residential development underway by The Wellington Company. They will also sign an agreement with the Council to construct up to 18 two-bedroom relocatable apartments (CitiBlox) on Council-owned land on Station Road near the railway station and overlooking the Porirua Stream. That lease will run for 10 years, with the option of a further 10-year term.”

Citiblox comprises modern apartments, constructed offsite in a factory environment as 72 square metre modules, able to be assembled up to 3 high in blocks of 6 units. The modules are connected together with an innovative fastening system and can be easily disconnected and moved to an alternative site if required in the future, says Ian Cassels owner of The Wellington Company.

“The Council is leasing the land to us and we will own the apartments and rent them to the public until the lease expiry, when we’ll take them away. The Council generates income from its currently vacant land and we provide attractive accommodation in a prime area at a sensible rental.”

Cassels says their involvement in Porirua fits with their philosophy of bringing change and energy to city centres.

“We see real opportunity in the Porirua city centre, and are excited to play our part and invest in its reinvention as a place where people live,” he says. “We’ve done this successfully in Cuba Street and we think it’s possible to bring life and a different dimension to Porirua’s too.”

The Council’s city centre residential incentives policy was also helpful in his decision to invest in the Porirua city centre.

“We’ve found Porirua City Council extremely positive and productive to deal with. They have been proactive in providing opportunities for developers and have exciting plans of their own for the city centre to add to the attractiveness of the area for future residents,” he says.

“The Council is investing in physical improvements, with the new Kiosk and landscaping in Cobham Court already completed. Plus Serlby Place is just a short walk to Pātaka, Te Rauparaha Arena and pool, the railway station, the harbour and stream edge path and various shopping opportunities. Working together is proving a win-win for everyone.”

Plans for the former NZ Post building include one-bedroom, two bedroom and studio apartments on the upper three floors of the property with resource consent already secured from the Council. The company plans to have commercial users on the ground floor.

“Having residential choices in the heart of Porirua City is a key component of our city centre revitalisation,” says Mayor Mike. “The Council has helped encourage these developments by offering a city centre residential incentives policy and these two projects are the first cabs off the rank in making this happen.”

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Skate Park wins Mural Masterpieces Award

Porirua Skate Park has had an award-winning makeover, with its new 3D mural winning first place for Best Professional Mural in the 2016 Resene Mural Masterpieces Awards.

The design brief and artistic management of the skate park was undertaken by the Porirua Community Arts Council, with the park preparation and project support by Porirua City Council, and input from Ngati Toa and members of the local skate community.

The skate park’s design brings to life the local Ngati Toa story of Awarua the Porirua Harbour Taniwha who wanted to fly. Awarua’s friend Rereroa the albatross inspired him and encouraged him with flying lessons, and it is these two characters which feature on the main part of the park, which actually sits on what used to be the edge of Porirua Harbour.

The Awarua concept was designed by Porirua Community Arts Council member, Moses Viliamu. This was then interpreted and painted in 3D by Marc Spijkerbosch, an internationally regarded artist who has worked with artists in Porirua on a number of city projects. A team of local artists worked alongside Marc and Moses on the mural, completing the work in December 2016.

On behalf of the Arts Council, Chair Judy McKoy says it’s great that the hard work by the artists has been recognised. “This project has been a triumph of and by the community, and seeing a tired and worn skate park emerge with a new and relevant design – which also happened to win a major award – really puts Porirua on the map.”

Porirua Mayor Mike Tana is looking forward to seeing the skate park in action at the national day-long skate championship event, which is running as part of the Waitangi Day Festival of the Elements on 6 February.

“The skate park is looking awesome and the award-winning design is the result of a great partnership by the Arts Council, Ngati Toa, the community and Porirua City Council. The Arts Council and artists have put in some long hours to refresh the design on the skate park.”

“It’s fitting that some of the country’s top skaters will get to test out the new design, which is a work of artistic magic. This year’s Festival element is air, which ties in with both the Ngati Toa legend of Awarua learning to fly and the skaters, who’ll be getting air on their skateboards.”

For more information about the Resene award, visit https://www.resene.co.nz/competition/murals/84-2016.htm

For more about the Waitangi Day Festival of the Elements visit https://www.facebook.com/events/374411079575829/

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6 December 2016

Porirua’s new splash pad designed for fun

Artists Impression of new splash pad.
Artist's impression of the splash pad.

The fun will be wet and wild at Aotea Lagoon’s new splash pad when it opens this year.

Making the biggest splash will be a massive 6m high water bucket dumper called the supersplash.

Detailed plans have just been unveiled for the 250m2 splash pad that will replace the duck pond near the adventure playground and public toilets at Aotea Lagoon.

“We are going for a big, splashy fun pad that will have water play features for the littlies as well as teenagers and families,” says Porirua Mayor Mike Tana. When we consulted with our young residents they wanted big splash items and we’ve certainly given them that.”

The $880,000 splash pad will feature three bays aimed at toddlers, families and teens and the water features will work in random patterns to keep the fun flowing. The water will be treated and recirculated.

The toddler bay will include low-level water jellies, misters, sprays and a water bug they can sit underneath, surrounded by a curtain of water.

The family bay will include jets of water in a variety of shapes and sizes, a rainbow series of curved poles that shoot out misty water, and a rainforest that will pour water from three tall leafy structures.

The teen bay will have spray cannons, in-ground water jets and the massive supersplash dumper bucket.

"This is going to be a fresh, contemporary water play park that will attract visitors from around the Wellington region and make Aotea Lagoon an awesome play destination, " said Mayor Mike.

Landscaping around the splash pad will create a grassed picnic lawn with extra seating, with an embankment built on the southern and eastern sides to provide wind shelter.

Construction is expected to start in March 2017, once resource consent has been granted, and is expected to take about 12 weeks.

Check out the new splash pad features.

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