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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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 ( or EnviroSchools Educator Amanda Dobson (



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.


24 May 2017

Porirua Arbor Day – help beautify Spicer Botanical Forest

Kathryn Hurr is making the world a better place one tree at a time and you’re invited to join her for an Arbor Day planting at Spicer Botanical Park on Saturday 3 June.

Porirua Mayor Mike Tana will be there and is encouraging people to bring a spade and help out.

Kathryn Hurr with Mayor Mike Tana.
You’re invited to join Porirua Mayor Mike Tana and tree enthusiast Kathryn Hurr for an Arbor Day planting at Spicer Botanical Forest on Saturday 3 June.

“We’re looking for lots of helping hands to bed in about 70 trees to add to the diversity and colour of this popular forest area,” says Mayor Mike Tana. “This is a great initiative of Kathryn’s and we’re thrilled to be working with her.”

“We are all kaitiaki of the environment and this gives us a chance to show that.”

Spicer Botanical Park is an arboretum of exotic trees planted in species groups, such as Asian, American and Australian. “It’s a bit of a hidden gem,” says Mayor Tana.

Many of the new trees to be planted have been chosen for the autumn colour they will add to the forest.

The planting starts at 11am and is expected to take a couple of hours.

Kathryn is a Titahi Bay resident and works at the Ministry of Primary Industries managing the team responsible for New Zealand’s nursery stock and seed import health standards.

She’s always dreamed of buying some land and filling it with trees but rather than wait for that day has decided to team up with Porirua City to plant public land.

“My dad always said we should leave the world a better place and trees are my thing. Trees are so useful, not just for people but for all the birds and biota that live in them, and for the climate. In 20 years’ time I want to be able to see some big trees that I had a hand in planting.”

Kathryn is full of praise for the City Horticulture Team that has tidied up and prepared the forest ready for the Arbor Day planting.

Come and join in the fun. You’ll find Spicer Botanical Park by the gates to Broken Hill landfill on Broken Hill Road in Elsdon.

Arbor Day (officially celebrated on 5 June) is a day where people are encouraged to plant and care for trees. It originated in the United States but is now celebrated around the world.

What: Arbor Day Planting
Where: Porirua’s Spicer Botanical Forest, Broken Hill Road, Elsdon
When: Saturday, 3 June, 11am
What you’ll need: A spade, sturdy shoes and gloves


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.



18 May 2017

Wellington Airport Community Awards close soon

“Porirua, we need your nominations!,” said Mayor Mike Tana. “We’re so lucky. We’ve got great volunteer groups in Porirua who give so much to the community – now’s the chance to recognise them. If you know of volunteer groups doing great work, encourage them to make contact and put in an application before 31 May.”

Every year Wellington International Airport, Wellington Community Trust and the five local councils come together to recognise the work carried out by community groups in the wider Wellington region. The focus of the Wellington Airport Community Awards is to celebrate volunteers’ valuable contribution to society.

Finalists from each region to compete for the overall award in their category, and the opportunity to be named supreme winner. Members of the public are invited to nominate any not-for-profit group or organisation working in the interests of the community.

The categories are: arts & culture, education & child/youth development, health & wellbeing, heritage & environment, sport & leisure and the rising star award (to recognise and encourage emerging grassroots groups in the community).

Last year’s supreme winner for Porirua was Raptors Tag Club, a Titahi Bay, Porirua family-based sporting group committed to the promotion of health and wellbeing through the non-contact sport of rugby league tag. They entered the sport & leisure category and went on to win the regional sport & leisure overall award.

The 2016 Porirua winners and runners-up in 2016 were:

Arts & culture
Winner: Bonfire Community Trust, runner up: Porirua Soundscapes
Education & child/youth development
Winner: Holy Family School, runner up: Whitirea Community Law Centre
Health & wellbeing
Winner: Creekfest, runner up: Cannons Creek Community Pantry and Gardens
Heritage & environment
Winner: Stuart Park Restoration Project, runner up: The Koha Shed, Cannons Creek
Sport & leisure
Winner: Raptors Tag Club, runner up: Special Olympics Mana
Rising star award
Winner: Whanau Kotahi Porirua, runner up: Food is Free

For more information about the application process, email Robyn Steel or visit

Entries close on 31 May.

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 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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