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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19 July 2017

Our 2017 Civic Awards

The Civic Awards are the city's highest recognition for voluntary service to the community. This year’s recipients were recognised at a ceremony last month.

Annabell Malaulau is a parent of Holy Family School and chair of the Volunteer Core group, which is heavily involved in fundraising. Every day she stands guard at the school gate with the road patrol, before volunteering in the classroom helping students to learn to read. Annabell also coaches and manages several sports teams and helps transport students to and from games.

John Te Ārawai Ngāhana-Hartley has led conservation and revitalising work in Bothamley Park, clearing and maintaining areas within the park and replanting with native plants. Ngāhana has been part of the Aotea Residents Association since it started and helped to set up the sub-group Aotea Conservation Volunteers.

Cheryl Brown, an executive member of the Rānui Residents Association since its formation in 2007, is a driving force behind the Association, writing the newsletter and leading and contributing to projects in the Rānui Village Plan, including the Rānui Digital Story, Te Kapata Pukapuka free community library, environmental projects and Te Ra Nui – Rānui Village’s welcome sculpture.

Jeff Chapman, as a governing member of the Titahi Bay Community Group, has led the establishment of the Titahi Bay Community Patrol, helped set up the Titahi Bay Vege Co-op, and has been involved in many of their projects. He works with tamariki as a founding member of Te Ara Moana Charitable Trust (which delivers water-based activities) and the GROW group (building a community garden at Titahi Bay Intermediate). Jeff also serves on two school boards and coaches sport.

Dr Elizabeth Sneyd and Craig Utting have volunteered their time teaching violin, cello and viola to over 160 children in 11 low-decile schools in Porirua since the establishment of Virtuoso Strings Charitable Trust in 2013. As well as providing instruments at no-cost, they run weekly music classes and rehearsals for schools and an open youth and community orchestra based in Cannons Creek. The orchestra performs at events across the city and region.


18 July 2017

New weather station confirms warmer Porirua

It’s official - Porirua’s weather is warmer than we’ve been led to believe.

Lookout to Mana Island.

The city’s new automatic weather station at Elsdon Park opened in in April. Prior to this our weather readings were taken from data gathered on Mana Island.

Analysis of the June data, comparing the readings from both sites, showed that on average Porirua maximum daytime temperatures were 2 degrees warmer than Mana Island.

This was great news and confirmed what locals have known for a long time, said Porirua Mayor Mike Tana.

“We always knew Porirua was warmer and sunnier than we’ve been seeing in weather reports, but now it’s official.”

The data was compared by Dr Alex Pezza, Senior Environmental Scientist, Climate, at Greater Wellington Regional Council.

“Overall I think it’s pretty clear and well demonstrated that it was a fantastic initiative to have this new station installed, as now we can see exactly what a large difference there is between Porirua and Mana Island,” Dr Pezza said.

As well as being warmer during the day, the analysis showed Porirua was 3.6 degrees colder in the mornings than Mana Island, showing it had a very different climate overall because of its maritime location.

Porirua City collaborated with Metservice, NIWA, Wellington Rural Fire Authority, Wellington Water and Greater Wellington Regional Council to develop the station, with most joining the city in contributing to its cost.

“We worked together well and not only do we get to brag about our weather, but it has important practical use,” Mayor Tana said.

“As well as having Porirua accurately reflected in Metservice reports, this lets NIWA track our long-term climate data, the Rural Fire Authority can accurately update fire ratings, and we have better information for our stormwater management and harbour restoration projects.”

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

 


 

18 July 2017

KERRY ANN LEE - Fruits in the Backwater

Solo exhibition at Pātaka Art + Museum
27 August 2017 – 22 January 2018

Artist, Kerry Ann Lee’s new body of work celebrates Aotearoa New Zealand as a remote archipelago and an imaginative site of possibility – a place where diverse citizens have a chance to grow roots deeper than they might in more densely populated centres – but these fertile islands are not a perfect paradise.

Found photographic imagery, nostalgic advertising and tourism campaigns are all called into question in new lightbox works. Drawing from inspiration both on and off-shore, ‘Fruits in the Backwater’ asks the viewer to look closer, and reconsider our cultural positions and complex settlement histories in flux in Aotearoa. What seems idyllic at first glance is marred by fractures and verging on rupture and reveal hopeful potential within static images.”

Kerry Ann Lee’s practice focuses on themes of home, difference and hybridity. The majority of her work takes the form of installation and digital collage of found images but she has also established a following for her self-published fanzines over the past two decades. Lee’s artwork can be found in public and private collections throughout New Zealand, Australia, Europe, the US and China but, as well as being one of Wellington’s most dynamic contemporary visual artists , Lee is connected to the underground punk music scene.

Lee is a Wellingtonian of third generation Chinese decent. Since immigrating to New Zealand in the 1920s, her family helped establish some of the early Chinese restaurants in Wellington. Key works to date have explored the tensions of making a home in the margins, alternative histories, and the legacy of Cantonese Chinese settlement in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Kerry Ann Lee: Magic Mirror, 2017.

Drawing upon her recent travels to Central America and Europe, Lee’s Fruits in the Backwater explores new perspectives she gained while away from home, and her realisation of the cultural and social benefits of our county’s relative geographic isolation.

While in Rome, Lee observed a tension within herself. As a New Zealander searching for external cultural reference points from these huge international centres of social, economic and artistic power on the other side of the world, Lee states, “I hit a crisis point while in Rome and Athens, amidst the tourists voraciously consuming images and documenting the ruins and monuments... I got 'image fatigue', and put down my camera". In doing so Lee gained a different and unexpected perspective of herself and Aotearoa New Zealand that can only be seen from a distance.

Rather than returning home with a slew of international cultural referents to infuse and fuel her art practice, Lee’s experience of introspection while abroad meant she returned home with a new perspective on ourselves as New Zealanders.

By distancing herself from home she was able to approach difficult cultural and political subject matter from a different perspective, taking note of the cultural and social dynamics of our nation in relation to our relative geographic isolation, and being able to see the value of ‘the fruits’ that grow in isolation.

Lee’s work begins with images taken from tourism and commercial advertising. She then places these externally focused depictions of New Zealand and 'elsewhere' in conversation with more locally specific social and cultural reference points. In essence the work is about perspective, decoding the globalised cultural symbols of this island nation portrayed in media, to take stock of the cultural nuances and experiences that make New Zealand New Zealand, and learning to value that difference for the benefits and perspective it provides.

Kerry Ann Lee’s Fruits in the Backwater for Pātaka Art+Museum will be her first solo exhibition at a major public art museum in New Zealand. Fruits in the Backwater will be exhibited alongside a suite of exhibitions by Muslim-Australian artists Abdul Abdullah, Abdul-Rahman Abdullah and Khaled Sabsabi collectively titled Dark Horizons and two animated films by Indian based artist Nandita Kumar.

These projects are presented as part of ANZ Bank’s Season of Exhibitions at Pātaka Art+Museum exploring the challenges and achievements of ‘New New Zealanders’.

 


14 July 2017

 

DARK HORIZONS
Fear of an Imagined Threat

An art exhibition by leading Muslim-Australian artists
Abdul Abdullah, Abdul-Rahman Abdullah and Khaled Sabsabi

Dark Horizons.

Fear is one of the most powerful human emotions. It controls our behaviour, making us cautious of dangerous situations. An irrational or imaginary fear can be equally as dangerous to our well-being – if we let it get the best of us. The way that fear, both real and imagined, is used to control our thoughts and actions is the theme of a major new series of art exhibitions opening at Pātaka Art Gallery and Museum in Wellington, New Zealand on 27 August 2017.

The suite of three solo exhibitions by Abdul Abdullah, Abdul-Rahman Abdullah and Khaled Sabsabi is entitled Dark Horizons and it explores the duality of fear through a Muslim lens.

Sydney-based Khaled Sabsabi is one of Australia’s leading moving image artists. Born in Tripoli a few years prior to the Lebanese civil war, Khaled was still a child when he and his brother were forced to flee through the warzone to seek asylum – eventually finding a new home in Sydney’s culturally diverse Western suburbs in the late 1970s.

In his most recent installation entitled We Kill You (2016), courtesy of Milani Gallery in Brisbane, Khaled revisits Lebanon to investigate the shared, and hotly-contested, histories and geography of this region. Produced over a two-year period, the footage includes scenes also shot in Morocco and Saudi Arabia, and is presented as an expansive three channel video installation displayed on two-sided projection-screens suspended from the gallery ceiling.

We Kill You fearlessly delves into a range of themes, from Pan-Arab nationalism and militarisation to the destabilising effects of colonialism. As Khaled states, “the work is another personal chapter in dealing with and showing the factual contradictions of war and the effects it has had on all people everywhere”.

Abdul Abdullah’s paintings and embroidered fabric works bring these stories closer to home with portraits of returned Australian military personnel. The brooding figures in these works sit within a deep black background, their eyes peering out at the viewer from behind an aerosol smiley-face emoji spray-painted across the front of the canvas.

The contradiction of the brightly coloured emoji seems to give voice to an unspoken trauma buried deep within the sitter. Like a jovial mask belying a darker truth, Abdul puts a human face to our role, as Western nations, in global traumas and atrocities happening across the globe, while also highlighting the effects of post-traumatic stress suffered by our military personal in service of their nation.

Perth-based Abdul-Rahman Abdullah’s sculptural installation, The Dogs (2017), features a room full of ornate glass chandeliers floating above the gallery floor. Through the soft haze of refracted light a pack of wild black dogs appear, seemingly frozen in mid-flight with teeth bared and ears at full attention. It is unclear whether the dogs in this scene are in pursuit of a target or are fleeing danger themselves, and in this way the black dogs become a powerful symbol of war, fear and hysteria, and the treatment of asylum seekers as unworthy or sub-human.

Director of Pātaka, Reuben Friend, comments “the surrealist quality of Abdul-Rahman’s sculptures creates a dream-like feeling that is at once both wondrous and nightmarish. As a Malay and Anglo-Australian artist, he has tremendous insight into the duality of Western and migrant fears, and a seemingly God-given gift for making both perspectives accessible”.

Alongside this suite of exhibition is a major solo project by New Zealand artist Kerry Ann Lee entitled Fruits in the Backwater (2017) and a solo exhibition by Nandita Kumar entitled Tentacles of Dimensions (2009). These projects are presented as part of ANZ Bank’s Season of Exhibitions at Pātaka Art+Museum exploring the challenges and achievements of ‘new New Zealanders’.

 


 

10 July 2017

Peruvian “living treasure” brings bold tapestry designs to Porirua

The dramatic, boldly colourful tapestries of “mega star” Peruvian weaver Máximo Laura are coming to Pātaka in Porirua this month.

Laura has been named one of Peru’s “living treasures” for his work that mixes ancestral weaving techniques with contemporary art and textile design.

His exhibition Eternal Vision will be on show at Pātaka’s TOI Gallery from Friday 21 July to 27 August.

It will be Laura’s only New Zealand exhibition while he is in the country for a series of workshops and lectures organised by Creative Fibre NZ.

“The colours and textures he uses are like something we haven’t seen here before. He has broken the boundaries of tapestry,” says Trish Armour of Creative Fibre, who recently travelled to Peru for a workshop with Laura.

“The colours he works in are so vibrant, and he uses different techniques to make his work almost three dimensional. It really is something quite different.”

Pātaka Contemporary Art Curator Mark Hutchins-Pond says Laura has created an eight-metre long, marine themed tapestry especially for the show and it will hang in the open Spine area of Pātaka. The 16 tapestries in his exhibition will be for sale.

“We have a long history of working with Creative Fibre and it’s great to be working with them again to bring Laura here. He really is a mega star of the weaving world.”

Laura is a fifth generation weaver who learned his craft as a child at his father’s side while growing up in Ayacucho. His tapestries have featured in more than 140 exhibitions in 28 countries and have earned many awards.

Laura says he is inspired by Peru’s ancestral textiles and bold colours. “My work is nourished by symbols, stories, traditions….For me a colourless design is like a body without soul. It is through colour that all the elements gain energy, life, intention and real value.”

Laura will give a floor talk at the official opening of his exhibition on Saturday 22 July at 1pm.

Also opening at Pātaka on 21 July 2017 are:

TAKU HIKOI, LA’U MALAGA – My footprint, my walk, my journey.
This exhibition aims to showcase the achievements and the journey of people who are making art works as part of their recovery journey from mental illness to health and wellbeing. The work is by consumers from the Te Korowai-Whāriki mental health services based in Porirua, and includes large scale tape art, ceramics, stylised bird house models, charcoal drawings and masks.
Friday 21 July to 20 August, Bottle Creek Gallery, Pātaka.

FLOCK TOGETHER.
Whanganui artists Leonie Sharp, Angela Tier, Tracey Piercy and Emma Cunningham bring their collective artistic talents together around one common theme – birds. Their work includes jewelry, ceramics, photography and mixed media. The artists all share a common interest in birds; however, for them the bird is more than purely subject matter. Feathers, bones, and wings are used as a resource, providing the material, and instilling meaning and beauty in their work.
Friday 21 July – 27 August, Toi Object Space, Pātaka

4 July 2017

Porirua Mayor calls for plastic bag levy

Porirua Mayor Mike Tana is one of 42 New Zealand mayors calling on central government to impose a compulsory charge on plastic bags and is encouraging the Porirua community to get behind the issue.

Mayor Tana has signed an open letter to Associate Environment Minister Scott Simpson, asking for a mandatory charge on single-use bags. The letter, launched by the mayors of Wellington, Auckland and Dunedin, has been circulating through local government and is now supported by 63 per cent of the nation’s mayors, with numbers rising daily.

Three of the country’s 11 regional council chairs have also recently signed.

Mayor Tana says action is needed to reduce the amount of plastic in the environment.

“Our people are telling us that this is an issue that’s important to them so as well as backing this campaign myself, I’m encouraging the community to get involved,” he says.

“A petition started by Samuel Marsden Collegiate students now has nearly 12,000 signatures, and this is an easy way for people to add their voice to the message the mayors are sending to central government.”

The petition can be found at https://www.change.org/p/new-zealand-parliament-phase-out-plastic-bags-nz

Yesterday was International Plastic Bag Free Day and there’s also a Plastic Free July challenge where people are encouraged to avoid any single-use plastic products this month.

“There are lots of ways to get behind this issue. It’s all about changing our thinking and our habits.” Mayor Tana says.

 



 

29 June 2017

Civic Awards for Porirua volunteers

Six Porirua volunteers have been recognised for their outstanding service to the people of Porirua City.

Porirua Deputy Mayor Izzy Ford presented them with Civic Awards at Pātaka last week, Monday 19 June.

“The Civic Awards are the city's highest form of recognition to highlight and celebrate the efforts of individuals who give up their valuable time to contribute to the community,” she says.

This year’s recipients are:

  • Annabel Malaulau
  • Ngāhana Hartley
  • Cheryl Brown
  • Jeff Chapman
  • Craig Utting
  • Dr Elizabeth Sneyd

“Porirua has so many people of talent and heart who give to one another and these latest recipients are among them,” says Deputy Mayor Izzy Ford.

“They come from diverse backgrounds, but all have an outstanding sense of community and a desire to be part of what makes Porirua a great place to live.”

To mark the occasion, Deputy Mayor Ford presented a lapel pin and engraved badge with the city’s coat of arms design to each recipient, along with a framed Civic Award certificate.

“These are only a very small token of the enormous amount of gratitude that I and other members of the Council and the city’s residents have for what you have collectively given to our city,” she said.

Mayor Mike Tana, who was at a tangi and could not attend the awards ceremony, sent his congratulations and thanks to the recipients.

“Thank you for the extraordinary amount of time and energy that you have contributed to help make Porirua the amazing city it is today.”

The Mayors of Porirua have presented Civic Awards to over 100 residents since 1993.

 


29 June 2017

 

Porirua City adopts Annual Plan 2017/18

Porirua City Council adopted its Annual Plan last night with a ‘steady as she goes’ budget for 2017/18.

“As a new council we've taken a careful approach - ensuring what was on the work programme continues and deferring big ticket items for more in depth discussions during the 2018 Long-term Plan process,” says Mayor Mike Tana.

Protecting our harbour, continuing city centre revitalisation, building a children’s splash pad at Aotea Lagoon and ongoing investment in roading, water, stormwater and wastewater services are key parts of the plan.

Mayor Tana says in 2015 the Council committed to balancing our budget, putting aside money to pay for future infrastructure costs so our children aren't hit with big bills and spending an additional $40 million on the city’s infrastructure. This alone results in an average rate increase of about 3.75% before we add the cost of providing services.

“We deliberated long and hard to keep rate increases as low as possible and we did manage to bring them down to 4.5% instead of the 5.03% forecast in the Long-term Plan.”

The average rate increase is 4.5% across the combined residential, commercial and rural sectors although the impact will vary because of the latest QV property revaluations.

"Homeowners have seen significantly larger increases in property values than the commercial and rural sectors as a result of the revaluation. Because rates are calculated on property values the average rate increase for homeowners is 6.4%. This is higher than the other sectors (0.6% increase for commercial and 1.3% decrease for rural).”

Rates in Camborne, the suburb with the highest increase in property valuations, will increase by $327.50 per annum (on average). Suburbs like Mana/Paremata and Aotea have had the smallest increases at $132.81 and $169.73 respectively per annum.

Agreeing the budget each year is always a challenge because over 70% of our income comes from the ratepayers of Porirua, says Mayor Mike Tana.

"We're conscious that many in our city are on fixed or low incomes. People have told us they want quality roads, infrastructure and services and that they want our city to grow.

“We've worked to find a balance between investing in growth and managing your money carefully and we thank those people who responded to our requests to consult with us. We look forward to continuing our conversations with the community to learn what's important to you so the decisions we make take into account everyone's perspective."

 

27 June 2017

Photography exhibition explores our tattoo culture

Metal Therapy photograph showing tattooed man in garage

Metal Therapy one of the photographs from “Will forever, mean forever?”

A Pop-up Store photography exhibition “Will forever, mean forever?” in Porirua’s Cobham Court will showcase Tracy Sexton’s stunning images of tattooed New Zealanders.

Tracy, a third year applied arts student, is majoring in photography at Whitireia Porirua. Her current work explores the tension between society’s perceptions around getting a tattoo, whether the tattoo is accepted and, as time goes on, whether there are regrets about it. Tracy’s work examines changing attitudes and also tattoo removal for those who no longer have an attachment to their ink.

“My own view on tattoo culture has forever changed. Something I once frowned upon I now see as an intricate piece of artwork,” says Tracy.

Tracy also cites her identical twin sister as a key influence in her work. “She has many tattoos, yet I have none. The way she expresses herself has always fascinated me.”

An image of Tracy’s sister features in the exhibition, which will run for a week in the Pop-up Store in Porirua City centre, along with other spectacular, large-scale photographs featuring people with graphic tattoos.

“Will forever, mean forever?” is at the Pop-up Store, 17a Hartham Place, Porirua, from 6–9 July, and is open from 10am–4pm each day.


22 June 2017

Michael King sculpture to be unveiled

A commemorative sculpture celebrating historian, author and biographer Michael King, OBE, will be unveiled on the Porirua waterfront on Saturday 1 July 2017 at 8am.

All are welcome to attend the unveiling, which will take place on the Wineera Drive waterfront (just north of the back of the Warehouse). Ngāti Toa Rangatira and Council Kaumātua Taku Parai will open the ceremony with a karakia, which will be followed by short speeches from Mayor Mike Tana and the Arts Council before the official unveiling. There will be refreshments at Pātaka after the event.

The sculpture, designed by Arts Council member Michael Bennington, will form another step in the Porirua City’s Writers’ Walk, a project which reflects the rich legacy of writers and poets who have lived and worked in the city.

A quote featured on the sculpture from King’s Being Pakeha Now firmly places the new commemoration in its local environment – King lived and worked in Paremata for a number of years and sailed and fished around the Pāuatahanui Inlet.

“The Writers’ Walk is a joint Porirua Community Arts Council and Porirua City Council initiative, which aims to install at least one Writers’ Walk commemoration each year over five years,” says Porirua Arts Council Chair Judy McKoy.

“After much consultation , the Arts Council has selected the writer and liaised with the family over the text used and guided the design of the sculpture. Porirua City has provided the important back-end engineering and manufacturing support, along with funding as part of the city’s Annual Plan,” says Ms McKoy.

The sculpture is in the form of a very large window as might be found in a beach-side bach of the time – facing out into the harbour and looking across to Paremata and the hills beyond.

For those keen for more background about the author and his work, a QR code on the information bollard nearby links to the Writers’ Walk page on the Arts Council website.

“Michael King was a phenomenal story teller who gave us a window to other worlds. Representing his work in an innovative way like this reminds us all of the contribution he and other Porirua writers have made to our country’s nation building. I can’t wait to see the Writers’ Walk develop further,” Mayor Mike Tana says.

Already installed is a Pou commemorating the wordsmith Te Rangihaeata at the corner of Wineera Drive and Titahi Bay Road. The Pou is a Ngāti Toa/ City Council project launched in 2015 and marks the start of the walk.

Local writer Patricia Grace, DCNZM, was honoured in 2016 with a three metre high sculpture inscribed with a quote from her 1986 novel Potiki. An artistic installation honouring Alistair Te Ariki Campbell is the next planned stage of the Writers’ Walk, which is already attracting interest from school groups and visitors to the city.

Writers currently being considered for future installations include Briar Grace Smith, Sam Hunt, Adrienne Jansen, Alison Wong, Louis Johnson, Elizabeth Knox, Gary McCormack, and children’s authors Juliette MacIver and Jack Lasenby.


 

21 June 2017

Pātaka storage upgrade creates unique exhibition

Nearly all of Pātaka’s 25,000 objects are on display in two exhibitions while its storage facilities are being upgraded.

“These exhibitions show the vast size and variety of our collection as we’ve never been able to reveal before,” says Museum Registrar Laureen Sadlier.

Many of the objects in the Recollections exhibition come from Porirua Museum and some have been taken out of storage for the first time since they came to Pātaka in 1982.

Recollections features an eclectic selection of personal and household items from the early and mid-20th century, with everything from toothpaste and medical equipment to an array of vacuum cleaners, toys and old tools on display.

As well, it showcases much of Pātaka’s Māori and art collection, with paintings and prints covering the walls from ceiling to floor.

Pātaka storage upgrade creates unique exhibition.
Pātaka has emptied its storage cupboards to create the Recollections exhibition. Museum Registrar Laureen Sadlier (left) with retired Titahi Bay plumber Allan Corry, who loved the display of old metal working tools.

Two of Ms Sadlier’s favourites in the Recollections exhibition are an old illuminated shop sign “Buy your Gold Ticket here” and a gas mask in its box. ”It really was a bit like Christmas here as we opened up boxes for the first time since they came to Pātaka – we never quite knew what we’d find.”

Next door is the exhibition The hoe and the hōiho in which Titahi Bay born artist Wayne Youle has put his spin on the objects out of storage, curating them to explore the idea of value.

The exhibitions run until 27 August, while the storage areas are upgraded with new wall linings and insulation and top quality museum standard fittings, including rolling shelves and art hanging racks.

“It was pretty chaotic before and this upgrade will ensure we can keep our objects in the best possible condition and it will make better use of our storage space, allowing us to better organise our objects,” says Ms Sadlier.

As part of the project, the Pātaka team is taking the opportunity to refine the collection. “All our objects must be of historical significance to the development of Porirua City and its peoples.”

Many of the historical objects currently on display will feature in several history exhibitions in the pipeline for this year and next.

 


9 June 2017

 

Council considers feedback on Porirua’s Annual Plan

The Council agreed an average rate increase of 4.5% and this, along with the other decisions agreed yesterday, will go into the final Annual Plan 2017-18 for adoption on 28 June 2017. “The Council consulted on a rates increase of 4.9% and have worked to keep rates in check,” said Porirua Mayor Mike Tana.

A City Development Rate, improvements to the city’s Civic Building, Porirua’s community bus Te Pahi and the Living Wage were among topics discussed on Thursday by the Porirua City Council, following feedback from 400 submitters on the Annual Plan 2017-18.

The Council voted unanimously against introducing a $1m City Development Rate, raising the rural differential from 0.7 to 0.75, and lowering the Uniform Annual General Charge from $420 to $390.

“My colleagues and I agree we should keep the status quo,” Mayor Tana said. “We listened to all the communities that submitted to us and took their views into account.”

“It’s important the commercial sector has confidence that Porirua is a great place to do business – they are important for the growth and development of our city. We also want to ensure our decisions are based on robust principles and that we consider the costs versus the benefits for all ratepayers.”

The Council deferred a decision to renovate the city’s Civic Building in Cobham Court. The Mayor moved that the project instead be considered as part of the Long-term Plan (LTP) 2018–2038 to ensure the best decision is made.

“As this project involved significant costs (ranging from a $2.45m option, to $16.54m for a new building) the Council doesn’t want to lock something in before exploring other options,” he said.

The Council supported the continuation of Te Pahi for the 2017/18 year at an outside cost of $65,000 with the understanding that additional sponsorship will be necessary to ensure the bus’s ongoing viability.

“I fully support continuing the bus,” said Mayor Tana. “We know of a number of interested sponsors who will be locked in over the next few months. I agree that there have to be limits to ratepayer funding going into it, but am confident we’ll get the support needed via further sponsorship and grant applications.”

Te Pahi operates almost every day of the school year, and provides free transport to low decile schools, giving students learning experiences that they otherwise would not access due to high transport costs.

The Council received a significant number of submissions on the Living Wage and agreed that officers report back on a Remuneration Policy that includes affordability issues in time for consideration in the LTP. Council also agreed to adopt the principles of the Living Wage.

“I believe in the Living Wage and therefore I believe we must adopt its principles to move forward,” said Mayor Tana. “We also have to manage our costs.”

“As this is our first Annual Plan deliberation as a new Council, I’m proud of my Councillors and how we’ve worked together on behalf of ratepayers,” said Mayor Tana.


 

1 June 2017

Residents to have their say on how Porirua dogs are managed

The rules around how we manage Porirua dogs are being reviewed and we’re asking residents what they think of the proposed changes.

At the same time, we’ll be asking whether Porirua needs a fenced dog park.

The City Delivery Committee today accepted a recommendation to consult on the review of Porirua’s Dog Control Policy and Bylaw and also to seek feedback on the concept of a fenced dog park or exercise area. Consultation will begin on Friday 16 June and end on Friday 14 July.

“We recognise the great benefit of dog ownership to their owners and we want to ensure dogs are enjoyed, managed and controlled so all residents can safely enjoy our City,” says City Delivery Committee Chair Councillor Anita Baker.

“We believe these changes will help us achieve that but we look forward to hearing from residents when we go out for consultation in mid-June.”

The changes proposed to Porirua’s Dog Control Policy and Dog Control Bylaw include:

  • adding six new off-leash dog exercise areas
  • extending by one month the time dogs are allowed on city beaches
  • changes to some existing exercise areas
  • compulsory neutering of dogs classified as menacing by breed/type
  • making it easier to obtain and keep ‘responsible dog owner status’, and
  • incorporating the ‘Pooper-Scooper’ Bylaw in the Dog Control Bylaw.

“We decided to consult on the mandatory neutering of all dogs classified as menacing because the Government is proposing to introduce stronger rules for owners of high-risk dogs as part of a review of the Dog Control Act 1996 later this year. It made sense for us to seek feedback on those changes now rather than require a late amendment to our policy,” says Councillor Baker.

Porirua currently requires compulsory neutering of dogs classed as menacing based on their behaviour. This change would extend that to dogs classed as menacing based on breed/type.

“We also know there’s a lot of interest from dog owners in having a fenced dog park or exercise area in Porirua, and this is a good opportunity to seek feedback on that too.”

Residents will be asked whether Porirua should have a fenced dog park, and if yes, what facilities it should have, possible locations and how it should be funded.

An audit of signs about dogs will be carried out once the policy and bylaw have been reviewed.

Porirua has around 4,800 registered dogs. Any changes to dog fees and charges are addressed through the Annual Plan process.


30 May 2017

And the Oscar goes to … John Gilbert

We’ll be celebrating Porirua style with Oscar winner John Gilbert this Friday (2 June) at Pātaka.

Mr Gilbert will be talking about his award-winning film editing work with Mayor Mike Tana and a group of invited guests.

Mr Gilbert is one of the international film industry’s most respected editors and has received numerous awards and nominations, including the 2017 Oscar for Best Achievement in Film Editing and a BAFTA award for Best Editing working on Mel Gibson’s Hacksaw Ridge. He has reunited with Mr Gibson to work on the upcoming historical drama The Professor and the Madman.

Mayor Mike Tana, who will present Mr Gilbert with a Mayoral Certificate on Friday, says his achievements are remarkable. “What he demonstrates is that it is possible to be a world leader in your field, all the way from Porirua. He is an inspiration, especially to young people who may be dreaming big and wondering how they can achieve those dreams."

Mr Gilbert started out working on documentaries in New Zealand before moving into film and television commercials. He twice won New Zealand’s best editor award, and his work on Peter Jackson’s The Frighteners led to being asked to edit the first Lord of the Rings films.

He has also worked with new filmmakers in New Zealand, executive producing six short films for the New Zealand Film Commission. The resulting short films were variously selected for the Cannes, Berlin, Venice, Sundance, Clermont Ferrand and New York Film Festivals.
And he has been in demand internationally, working with high profile directors such as Roger Donaldson, with whom he collaborated three times, editing The November Man, The Bank Job and The World's Fastest Indian. Further credits include Bridge to Terabithia, Chasing Mavericks, Bandslam, and Killer Elite.

Mr Gilbert grew up and went to primary school in Pukerua Bay, before moving to Wellington. Although his work has taken him much further afield and he spends a lot his time overseas, he and his family have chosen Porirua as their base, having lived here since 2010. His favourite spot in the city is his home right on Pāuatahanui Inlet.

Mr Gilbert didn’t set out to work in the film industry. “I did history at university, and there was a weekend University Extension Course I did for six weeks one summer on film making. I always loved films, but never thought I could have a career in film. I took a holiday job at the National Film Unit and never went back to University.”

His advice for young people looking to get into a career in film? “Watch lots of films and think about what makes them work. Then find the best people working in film near you and pester them for work, even if it means working for nothing. Work hard and make yourself indispensable.”

Later this year there will be a screening of the movie Hackshaw Ridge for young people interested in a career in film, with details to be announced on our Facebook page.

Porirua has a history of producing leading lights in the film industry, notably Sir Peter Jackson, who was raised in Pukerua Bay and launched his career filming Bad Taste almost entirely on location here. His Lord of the Rings trilogy won 17 Academy Awards, with 11 awards – including best Director for the third movie The Return of the King.

 


 

30 May 2017

Only rain down our drains

Juan Qu has been out labelling street drains near her home in Aotea as part of the Mai uta ki tai – Drains to Harbour project. The project – a joint initiative by Porirua City Council, Te Rūnanga O Toa Rangātira and Wellington Water – aims to progressively label all street drains in Aotea, and eventually the whole city.

She got involved after finding out that anything tipped down some stormwater drains runs straight into the harbour. Juan adopted John Burke Drive and then moved further afield. “I labelled 10 drains last year and 20 recently, as the street was developing. I also dropped flyers in letter boxes as I was labelling the drains,” she says.

Juan thinks that education is the key. In the past, she’s tipped water with paint down the stormwater drain thinking it was the right thing to do, but now knows it needs to be tipped down the sink or into the garden. “People can contribute to the problem when building wastes, such as concrete and paint, are not properly managed.”

Keeping the drains clear and just for rain has a number of benefits says Juan. “As well as keeping the harbour clean, it reduces the chance of flooding (through blockages) and helps keep your rates down (as it costs Council money to keep the drains in good working order).”

Cars should also be washed on the grass wherever possible, or in a carwash, to avoid the run-off entering the street gutters or drains. Carefully packing recycling bins so the contents don’t blow out into the drains or harbour and picking up rubbish are two simple steps people can take to protect our harbour.

As well as individuals, some schools in Porirua have also been involved in labelling drains through the Porirua Harbour Trust and EnviroSchools programmes.

Anyone interested in getting involved should contact Porirua Harbour Strategy Coordinator Keith Calder (kcalder@pcc.govt.nz) or EnviroSchools Educator Amanda Dobson (ngahononga@gmail.com).

 


 

25 May 2017

Porirua well ‘liked’

When it comes to engaging with our people in the digital age Porirua is blazing ahead with our Facebook page one of the most followed local government pages in New Zealand.

Our Facebook page is now “liked” by 14,100 people and ranks fourth out of the more than 70 local government Facebook pages around the country. Only Auckland (57,700), Wellington (39,500) and (Christchurch 35,700) are ahead of us. And coming after us in fifth to eighth spots are Hamilton, Queenstown Lakes District, Hutt City and Palmerston North.

Porirua Mayor Mike Tana says as a youthful and vibrant city, social media is a great communication channel.

“It’s important to us to have conversations and really engage with our people and to do that we need to go to where the people are. Through Facebook we can not only talk – by sharing our stories - but we listen too.

“Obviously we’ve got a long way to go to catch up to Auckland but we’re pretty pleased that as a smaller council we’re punching above our weight.”

Our Porirua City Council Facebook page promotes events and shares news, photos, videos and links to helpful resources or other relevant information.

We create event pages for all the things happening around the city so people can sign up and get up-to-date information on these events. Just this week 1300 people have told us they’re interested in coming to tonight’s LUX night market in the city centre.

We also run competitions and invite discussion on relevant topics.

“You will have seen that we’re using video more, some of it live streamed, which lets us tell stories more easily and in a way that people expect,” Mayor Tana says.

“Your stories are our stories. We’re always on the look-out for great Porirua stories and social media lends itself to sharing these far and wide. Contact us on Facebook or tag us on Twitter.”

So if you aren’t following us online yet – get on board. Just search ‘Porirua City Council’ on Facebook and Twitter to keep in the loop about what’s happening in the city.



 

23 May 2017

New site for Aotea Lagoon’s splash pad

Porirua’s new splash pad is to be developed on Aotea Lagoon’s northern No. 1 lawn in time for summer.

The sunny site, alongside a public BBQ and seating area, has been chosen after plans for it to replace the duck pond came in over budget.

“There are no changes to the awesome splash pad design. It will still have the 6m high bucket dumper and other fun features. This move actually makes it easier to develop and means we’ll be able to do it within budget,” says Parks Manager Olivia Dovey.

“This site was always one of the favoured sites. It’s next to a great public space, has plenty of sun, is sheltered and is close to the power, water and infrastructure services we need. And we are still on track to having it open in time for summer.”

The initial plan had been to have the 250m2 splash pad replace the duck pond near the adventure playground and public toilets.

“There have been ongoing issues at the duck pond with smell, water quality and maintenance costs and initially we thought combining the removal of the pond with the new splash pad would be a good solution. However, to get resource consent from Greater Wellington Regional Council is taking some time and adding to costs and complexity so we’ve decided to simply move the site.”

“We are still pursuing resource consent to fill in the duck pond to create more recreational space and we’ll have a wider community conversation about how the space should be used next year,” says Ms Dovey.

The $880,000 splash pad will feature three bays aimed at toddlers, families and teens with the water features working 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.

The project also includes 22 extra carparks through an expansion of the northern carpark along Papakowhai Rd.

Construction is expected to be carried out in late winter and spring and take three to four months to complete.

 


17 May 2017

Students pitch ideas to Council

Good water management was a common theme flowing through the submissions from Porirua schools during the 2017 Annual Plan hearings in the Council Chambers on 16 and 17 May.

Students from Adventure School, Plimmerton School, Titahi Bay School, Rangikura School, Porirua School, Brandon Intermediate, and Samuel Marsden Whitby were buzzing after presenting their submissions to the Mayor and Councillors.

Adventure School rated water supply, wastewater management and treatment and stormwater management as the most important Council services. “These services affect everyone. We need to keep our environment clean and safe for people, plants and animals, both now and in the future,” they said.

Titahi Bay and Porirua Schools both submitted on stormwater and emergency management, with Titahi Bay School rating having a “safe city that doesn’t flood so schools close” as the most important Council service. Having a clean water supply was important to Rangikura School “because we need clean water to survive”.

Samuel Marsden Whitby students Isabelle Evans and Tannith Potgieter’s submission focused on having a robust wastewater system. “There are a lot of new housing developments in Aotea and Whitby and we need to know that there’s capacity in the stormwater and sewerage system to handle these,” says Isabelle.

Rangikura, Porirua and Adventure schools and Samuel Marsden Whitby also submitted on the Waste Minimisation Plan and agreed with the Porirua City’s target of reducing landfill waste by one-third by 2020.

Their ideas to achieve this included promoting recycling, freecycling events, school talks on reducing waste, making better use of Trash Palace, changing the names of second-hand shops, education for older people and composting of food scraps.

Mayor Tana said it was inspiring to see so many of our schools coming along to the Council Chamber to talk about their submissions.

“They had great ideas that we’ll be looking at closely. I am especially heartened by the importance they place on looking after the environment and protecting the city from flooding and stormwater management. Last year’s events showed students why we need to get this right.”

“Porirua communities have been working with the Council and councillors to improve our waterways, with hands-on activities like Aotea Lagoon and harbour clean-ups. It was great to see Brandon Intermediate offering practical solutions about improving local waterways,” he says.

“We’re committed to reducing waste going to our landfill and students’ suggestions added to the wealth of ideas in our communities, and show a commitment to making a difference.”

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16 May 2017

Make sure your dog’s up to scratch

Love your dog? Then make sure it’s registered by 1 July this year.

All dogs aged over three months must be registered and reminder letters are going out to all dog owners shortly.

Your registration fee helps us provide a service for the whole community, because while your dog is a great benefit to you, not everyone loves them. They also bring some risks for our community, such as barking, roaming and fouling.

A registered and tagged dog is more easily identified and can be returned to owners quickly. Your dog must also be micro-chipped within two months of first being registered. You can have this done by your vet, through our animal control team.

You can re-register your dog online, but if you are registering your dog for the first time it must be done in person at the main administration building in Cobham Court.

You can get a discount on your fee by having:

  • your dog desexed and providing us with a certificate (desexed dogs are less likely to roam, tend to be less aggressive and generally lead a healthier life – talk to us about low cost de-sexing programmes in your area)
  • Responsible Dog Owner status – applications for this must be in before 1 June
  • a current obedience certificate and providing us with a copy.

You can spread your registration fee over several automatic payments between January and May each year. If you’re interested, please talk to us about setting this up before January next year.

Our dog control team has successfully trialled education visits for dog owners this year and we’ve also been campaigning to encourage dog owners to pick up after their dogs.

Read more about dogs

 


 

2 May 2017

Making Porirua Play-able

Dr Hemakumar Devan (left) and Dr Meredith Perry run through the playground survey with members of Plimmerton Rotary and Inner Wheel.Porirua City is leading the way in creating a playable city, where all children can play together at our parks, whatever their abilities or disabilities.

The Playable Porirua project is underway thanks to a partnership between the Council, Plimmerton Rotary and Plimmerton Inner Wheel, with the community groups taking a lead role in helping to make the goal a reality.

Porirua City Parks Manager Olivia Dovey says the aim is to become a city where most of our playgrounds have some features that are accessible and usable for all people – regardless of age or disability.

“We want all our people to get the enjoyment and health benefits that come from being in parks, so we need to make sure everyone is able to access and use them,” she says.

Also involved with the project are researchers from Otago University, who have done a pilot study into whether parks are accessible for people with disabilities.

Project leader Dr Meredith Perry and her team created a survey tool to assess how parks measure up and used this to evaluate 21 parks in Porirua, Wellington and the Hutt Valley. They found there were some good aspects, but lots of things that could be done better.

“Our research shows there is a real need for accessible and usable parks. It’s great to see Porirua championing improvements in this area,” Dr Perry says.

The first step is to evaluate what’s working well and what could be done differently, and this is where the community volunteers come in, Ms Dovey says.

Rotary and Inner Wheel members will visit and assess all Porirua’s playgrounds over the next few months, using the survey tool.
They will look at a number of factors at each park and their findings will help the city plan improvements, Ms Dovey says.

“We’ll then be able to package up a programme of improvements that Plimmerton Rotary Club and Plimmerton Inner Wheel will be able to use to assess and access funding opportunities.”

Adrienne Murray of Rotary and Inner Wheel said this was a project club members were excited and enthusiastic about.

“We see this as something that has real value, and a project that can contribute to the future and the reputation of our city.”

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2 May 2017

Warming up Porirua

Porirua families can take steps to warm up their homes for winter.

“Everyone wants to keep their families healthy in winter, and one of the best ways to do that is to make sure the home is warm and dry,” says Sustainability Trust chief executive Philip Squire.

Making homes warmer and more energy efficient can cut down power bills and improve health – especially for children and older people.

Sustainability Trust is offering families and tenants with a Community Services Card free curtains and to help get cheaper insulation and heating. People with spare lined curtains in good condition can also donate them to the curtain bank.

Landlords are encouraged to act now to help their tenants ahead of the July 2019 deadline, when all rental properties must meet ceiling and underfloor insulation standards, along with working smoke alarm standards.

Porirua landlord Sally Mitchell is putting insulation in her four rentals this month. “I want my tenants to have warm homes, especially with winter around the corner. I knew I had to get insulation, so getting it done now means I don’t have to worry about the deadline and the tenants are happy.

“It adds value to the properties too, so it’s a worthwhile investment at a good price.”

Northern Ward Councillor Ross Leggett is encouraging landlords to take steps now to warm up their homes. Property owners will receive a flyer with their next rates notice, which gives more detail about what’s on offer.

“It will not only help families, it’ll mean you’re ahead of the deadline in 2019. Everyone will be healthier and happier as a result.”
Sustainability Trust invites homeowners, landlords and tenants to get in touch for help to warm up. Call 0508 787824 or email office@sustaintrust.org.nz. They can provide energy efficiency advice tailored to each property.

For more information and tips visit

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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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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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