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.
News on this page:
Help shape our city’s future
Porirua’s District Plan is under review and we’re looking for people to help shape the next plan – and the future of our city.
The plan sets out how we use our land for housing, recreation, socialising and moving around in our city, while protecting and safeguarding it for future generations. We’re establishing a reference group of people who represent the diverse views of our city to help shape the new Proposed Plan.
“If you live in Porirua and have an interest in our natural environment, developing Porirua City, economic growth, recreation, youth, culture, and/or resource management, please think about giving us some of your time,” says Environment and City Planning Manager Nic Etheridge.
“We’re looking for up to 12 people who want to be part of a reference group to give feedback about options and brain-storm and problem-solve solutions with council officers in order to help develop and test land-use planning options for the city.”
The group will meet every six weeks for up to two hours (from 4pm) from April 2017 until the Proposed Plan is advertised for formal consultation in 2018. A koha will be provided to group members as a thank you for giving Porirua City their time.
If you’re keen to be involved, let us know who you are, and what skills, interests or viewpoints you’d bring to the group. Self-nomination forms are on our website and at the Council Building in Cobham Court. If you have any questions, contact Nic on 04 917 1004. Nominations close at 4pm on Friday 31 March.
Treasuring our taonga
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.”
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.
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.
“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.
1 March 2017
Consultation to begin on Easter Sunday trading
Porirua City Council will begin consultation immediately on whether shops should have the option to open on Easter Sunday, so a policy decision can be made before Easter this year.
At an extraordinary meeting of the Council yesterday it was agreed that consultation would run throughout March on a draft Easter Sunday Trading Policy. Submissions would be considered and a decision made in early April, before Easter Sunday which this year falls on 16 April.
In August 2016 the Government amended the Shop Trading Hours Act 1990 to allow local councils to adopt a policy giving retailers the option to trade on Easter Sunday.
Before this legislation change most shops had to remain closed on three and a half days of the year – Good Friday, Easter Sunday, Christmas Day and Anzac Day until 1pm.
The Act allows workers to refuse to work on Easter Sunday without giving a reason. It also requires employers to give their employees written notice that they have the right to refuse to work.
Mayor Mike Tana said yesterday’s decision was simply to consult and a decision would be made based on the feedback received from the community.
“We want to hear from businesses, churches, Maori and Pacific communities and young people as their views will help shape our decision on whether or not to allow Easter Sunday trading in Porirua.
“We represent diverse communities and all those views need to be considered.”
It was important to note that if a policy was put in place it would not compel businesses to open, but would give them the option, he said.
“The Council recognises the importance of trade to the Porirua economy but it would be up to each business to decide. With a policy in place there would be broad choice – for retailers whether to open, employees whether to work and the public whether to shop.”
The Council will contact businesses to let them know it is possible that Easter Sunday trading may be an option this year, depending on the outcome of the consultation. This would let them start considering whether they wished to open and notify staff of their rights.
The Council will also contact churches to seek feedback on the draft policy.
Consultation documents are available on our Consultation page, with hard copies at the Council building in Cobham Court and at libraries.
28 February 2017
Seeking community feedback on playground renewals in Waitangirua and Titahi Bay
Swings and sand play? Slides and roundabouts?
Cr Mike Duncan with grandson Jacob Duncan (11) at Arnold Park.
Porirua youngsters are being asked what they think about new designs for playgrounds in Titahi Bay and Waitangirua.
Arnold Park, at the corner of Tireti and South Beach Access rds in Titahi Bay, and Arahura Park, on Arahura Cres in Waitangirua, are being renewed as the play equipment in them needs replacing.
Draft designs have been drawn up and now the Council wants to hear what young users of the parks think about them.
“Arnold Park is such a popular play area and it’s ready for a revamp. It’s really exciting to see this draft design,” says Western Ward Councillor Mike Duncan. “My grand-daughter Bella will love the basket swing and sand play area and I’m keen to hear what other kids think about it.”
The draft design for Arnold Park also includes a climb and slide structure, swing set, roundabout, new pathways, a number of seats and several trees. Under foot there would be a mixture of rubber safety surfacing, sand and grass.
In Waitangirua, the draft design for Arahura Park includes replacing the popular track ride with a new one and a fun spring rocker with three seats and a standing platform.
Eastern Ward Councillor Kylie Wihapi says the new design looks awesome. “I’m often at playgrounds with my son Cooper (5) and he’s a big fan of swings – so it’s great to see they’ve included a basket swing in this draft design. I love the plan to have an interactive, hands-on play flower for children who can create noises as they turn its petals. It’s something a bit different for the city.”
“I really hope people have a look at these plans and give us some feedback because that will influence the final design of these parks.”
Each park has an information board and a mailbox where you can post your feedback until Monday 13 March. As well you can let the council know your thoughts by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or call 237-5089.
Creekfest set to rock
Recording artist and actor Stan Walker (pictured) will be the headline act at the popular Creekfest festival on 11 March 2017.
The cultural festival, held in Cannons Creek Park from 10am to 4pm, celebrates health and wellbeing and is a free, fun, family day out. It started 14 years ago and has been a popular annual event, attended by thousands.
“Creekfest started as a health festival but has now morphed into much more and includes education, social service providers, local small business and community fundraising opportunities,” organiser Liz Kelly says.
The main stage will feature Stan Walker, J Geeks and the O’Neill twins along with local talent. Tofiga Fepulea’I of the Laughing Samoans will MC and there will also be the popular community stage.
Porirua Mayor Mike Tana will open the festival at 10am and welcome Hon Alfred Ngaro, Minister for Pacific Peoples, Associate Minister for Children, Social Housing and the Community and Voluntary Sector. They, and the headline acts, will be around throughout the day.
Ms Kelly says appropriately Mayor Tana, Minister Ngaro and Stan Walker are all white ribbon ambassadors, which ties in with the festival’s theme of “Our Families, Our Taonga” with a particular focus on the message “violence is not okay”.
The council has contributed a grant of $20,000 to the event and supports it in other ways, including providing the community stage, managing rubbish collection and providing recycling services and promotion. Road management, lighting and safety barriers were also kindly supplied by the Council each year and this helped make the day such a success, Ms Kelly says.
Mayor Mike Tana says Creekfest is a positive, family day for all and he is looking forward to participating.
“Creekfest has become an iconic event for Porirua – it’s going to be a great community day that is smoke free, alcohol free and sugar free for drinks. The entertainment is going to be amazing and there will be heaps going on. See you there.”
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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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16 February 2017
Cobham Court Market on the menu
Porirua City centre is undergoing a transformation to a vibrant hub for business, activity and entertainment. As part of that Porirua City Council is seeking organisations or an experienced operator to manage a new high quality market in Cobham Court, with the Request for Proposal document released this week.
This is a unique opportunity to deliver a high quality market and capitalise on the work that’s been done to revitalise the city centre area.
The council is looking for the right operator with the right skills and plan to help make the market a great event and destination for the people of Porirua and the surrounding areas.
General Manager City Growth and Partnerships Bryan Patchett says we’re keen to find the right person or people for the job.
“The ideal operator will be able to attract a diverse range of stalls, and coordinate stall holders, entertainment and the promotion of the overall event, while also ensuring health and safety, and quality requirements are satisfied.”
Our award-winning Porirua food kiosk shows how well a quality venue and vendor can work together in the city. With the removal of the i-site building we’ve got a new green space that can be used by businesses and the community.”
Ideally we would like to see a good mix of fresh fruit and vegies, arts and crafts, and various food trucks and entertainment. This will need to be a long-term venture, taking into account both the mix of stall holders, weather, special events and other challenges.
“Pop-up Porirua, monthly Night Markets and Christmas in Cobham Court are examples of recent successful inner-city initiatives. The monthly Night Markets will continue to be held on the last Thursday of every month, but the Council is looking for an operator to run a weekend market in the city centre. The operator will need a strong track record in running a similar operation and will have the contacts and vision to ensure that the market is successful in the longer term,” says Mr Patchett.
The market is part of a wider plan for the heart of the city. “We’ve made good inroads in our work to revitalise the Porirua City centre and we’ve committed to investing $21 million over 10 years. The Council is continuing to support local businesses by enhancing our public spaces, and we’re starting to see real results,” says Mr Patchett.
“We’ve had a number of requests from the community for a weekend market in the city centre. We’re looking for someone with a vision for Porirua’s city centre, who can commit to a period of at least three years, with an option to extend for a further two years.”
For more information, read the Request for Proposal documents on our Public Tenders page.
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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.
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 email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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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7 February 2017
Pātaka showcases top contemporary artists
The country’s top contemporary artists, including Titahi Bay artist Sam Dollimore, feature in the 25th Annual Wallace Art Awards exhibition that comes to Pātaka Art + Museum this month.
Dollimore’s pen-on-paper artwork Overcompensating for no-thing is among 88 pieces selected as finalists to be exhibited in the Wallace exhibition, which aims to support and promote contemporary art and artists.
“Wallace is a big show. It’s a big deal for me. A lot of people who have won prizes have gone on to be successful, visible artists, so it’s really cool to be among the finalists.”
The Wallace Art Awards encourage and develop the visual arts in New Zealand and are given for contemporary New Zealand painting, sculpture, video, drawing, photography and print.
Pātaka Director Reuben Friend said the exhibition is a major opportunity for art fans to see a broad mix of the hot, contemporary artists trending in New Zealand now and Pātaka is its sole Wellington show.
“A lot of the artists are the cool kids who are trending now in the art world and it’s quite an achievement for Sam to be a finalist. She is a great example of a local artist who has been supported by Pātaka.”
Last year Dollimore won the open category of the Pātaka Friends Art Awards which included a two-week artist’s residency at the gallery. She is thrilled the Wallace exhibition is coming to Pātaka – a gallery and museum she visits regularly for the mix of big name artists and community exhibitions.
Mayor Mike Tana, also a Titahi Bay resident, is looking forward to seeing Sam’s work on display. “It’s great to see that our local talent is cutting it on the New Zealand stage and we can show our support by going along to the exhibition.”
The exhibition opens on 26 February and closes on 21 May.
It will feature the winning artworks, including Paramount Award winner André Hemer, plus a selection of the finalists.
Local artist Sam Dollimore is among the contemporary artists on display at the Wallace Art Awards exhibition at Pātaka.
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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.
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.
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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Roger Mortimer to exhibit at Pātaka
Roger Mortimer’s exhibition Dilemma Hill is set to open at Pātaka Art + Museum on 26 February as part of Pātaka’s stunning new seasonal line-up.
Mortimer has been described as ‘a contemporary visual mythologist’. His work gives a post-modern and post-colonial take on the earliest chartings of New Zealand coast by Europeans through contemporary eyes. Graphic imagery lifted from medieval manuscripts set on New Zealand marine charts powerfully reflects contemporary global turmoil.
Dilemma Hill showcases the last 16 years of Mortimer’s art practice – from the elaborate calligraphy of quirky early works based on bills, bureaucratic documents and mail-order catalogues, to his recent exploration of imagery drawn from illustrated manuscripts of Dante’s 14th century epic poem, the Divine Comedy. While most of the exhibits are large paintings on canvas, there’ll also be china paintings on ceramic and an etched and inked surfboard on display.
Pātaka contemporary art curator Mark Hutchins-Pond says Mortimer’s highly personal paintings portray both beauty and barbarity, reflecting the universal struggle of the human condition. “Mortimer’s menacing yet delicately coloured depictions invite both psychological and political readings and remind us of the human capacity for both evil and redemption.”
Dilemma Hill – Mortimer’s first major solo exhibition in a public institution – is a joint project between Pātaka Art + Museum and the Gus Fisher Gallery, University of Auckland.
Mortimer was awarded the James Wallace Trust Paramount Award in 2014 and his exhibition at Pātaka will run in parallel with the 25th Annual Wallace Art Awards 2016.
Mayor Mike Tana is looking forward to having such high quality artists on display in the city in the coming months. “Pātaka is nationally and internationally renowned as a contemporary art space. It’s awesome that we’re able to feature these connected New Zealand art exhibitions at Pātaka at the same time,” he said. Both exhibitions will run until 21 May 2017.
For more information visit the Pātaka Art + Museum website: www.pataka.org.nz/roger-mortimer-dilemma-hill/
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Cubism on Display at Pātaka
Significant works by prominent New Zealand artist Colin McCahon will form part of a new exhibition at Porirua’s Pātaka Art + Museum, celebrating New Zealand’s interpretation of the cubist art style.
Freedom and Structure, Cubism in New Zealand Art 1930–1960, opens at Pātaka on 26 February. It looks at the significant effect of cubism on New Zealand painting, including its impact on early cubists McCahon, John Weeks and Louise Henderson, as well as others including Melvin Day, Charles Tole and Wilfred Stanley Wallis.
The exhibition explores how these artists incorporated the radical language of cubism into their work in inventive ways, Pātaka contemporary art curator Mark Hutchins-Pond says.
“Cubism is a revolutionary style with a global influence. Its impact goes wider than art, into other disciplines like architecture, design and fashion,” he said.
“This gives the exhibition wide-ranging appeal to audiences including those with specialist and general knowledge, lovers of art history and mid-century design.”
Tertiary and secondary students studying art history, fine arts, history and modern literature would also find interest in the exhibition, he said.
Porirua Mayor Mike Tana said it was great to have such high caliber art on display at Pātaka.
“Pātaka regularly shows significant works like this that get people talking and thinking about what they’re viewing – it stretches our imagination.”
Curated by Julia Waite and toured by Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, Freedom and Structure features works from the collections of Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, Dunedin Public Art Gallery, Waikato Museum, The University of Auckland, Victoria University of Wellington, The Hocken Library – University of Otago, Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa and private lenders.
It runs from 26 February to 21 May 2017 at Pātaka Art + Museum, Cnr Norrie and Parumoana Streets, Porirua.
For more information visit the Pātaka Art + Museum website: http://www.pataka.org.nz/freedom-and-structure/
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Grand New Design for Porirua’s Grand Traverse
The 24km mountain bike takes in some of Porirua’s stunning scenery.
The Porirua Grand Traverse continues to stake a claim among the country’s best multi-sport events.
This year’s 11th annual Porirua Grand Traverse is scheduled for Sunday 2 April 2017 and the array of events is backed up by the event’s tagline: “All Ages, All Abilities, All Amazing”.
The popular event boasts something for everyone from weekend runners and walkers to schools and skilled endurance enthusiasts.
Based at Whitireia Polytechnic campus, the traditional multi-sport race involves a 10km kayak, 24km mountain bike and 18km mountain run, either solo or in a team. In recent years organisers have also introduced races in each discipline for those who want to just kayak, mountain bike or run.
The event includes the Arena Fitness 7.5km Fun Run/Walk, which attracts some 400 people for a superbly scenic run or walk – it’s perfect for a family Sunday outing.
The annual Schools Challenge is a highlight within the Fun Run/Walk. Who will be the fittest learning centre? Prizes for the annual schools’ competition are impressive!
The event has attracted some 800 participants in recent years and organisers hope to hit 1,000 for the first time in 2017.
Mayor Mike Tana is part of a team taking part in the event. He’s doing the cycle leg of the multi-sport race “as a personal challenge from a fitness perspective”. But as he points out, the Porirua Grand Traverse is more than just a race.
“This event is unique for Porirua. As well as bringing visitors to the city it promotes the region’s superb natural environment, provides a fitness focus for locals, along with donations to community groups to help out with marshalling. So everything about the Porirua Grand Traverse directly benefits Porirua. That’s what all events should hope to do.”
For more information, including online entry and course maps, visit www.pgt.org.nz.
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14 December 2016
Update on the earthquake and flooding response
Porirua City Council has been working hard to clear the backlog of jobs from the 7.8 magnitude earthquake on 14 November and subsequent flooding and ongoing aftershocks.
The Council initially reported 447 separate repair jobs but, after removing multiple reports about the same incident, this number has dropped to 326. Of these incidents, half have already been dealt with, one-quarter have had initial work completed but will require longer term fixes. The remaining jobs are minor and we plan to have assessments on them all completed by Christmas. As well as responding to the requests for service, Council staff and contractors individually visited 120 properties.
“Although Porirua has come out relatively unscathed compared to other parts of the region, the events of mid-November have had a large impact on some people, buildings, roads and infrastructure,” says Mayor Mike Tana.
“We understand that it’s frustrating for people who are waiting for slips and repairs to be completed in their areas. The Council and contractors are still working through all of the jobs created by those events and we ask that people continue to be patient.
“Thanks to everyone’s hard work, including our contractors, all our infrastructure systems are operating and functional, but we do have a big recovery and repair job on our hands.”
There was an unusually high number of slips – possibly due to the effects of the Kaikoura earthquake and aftershocks combined with the heavy rainfall soon afterwards, says Council Chief Operating Officer Tamsin Evans.
“We have engaged geotechnical engineers who are assessing the slips to identify what happened, what the residual risks are, and what the options are for remedial work.”
She says Council staff and contractors have prioritised slips that have an immediate impact on people, where they are compromising a property or major road. These are being dealt with first. A group of staff have been pulled into a recovery team to focus on this work.
This week letters will be sent out to those residents affected by major land slips which will outline who will be involved with repairs eg Council, NZTA or the private landowner.
“Once full assessments have been completed, we will be back in touch with proposed solutions and an outline of the next steps.
“The full cost to the city is still being determined but the Council agreed to using $600k from savings made this financial year at its meeting on 30 November.”
There are immediate costs for initial repair work to fix or make sites safe until they can be fully assessed, as well as longer term cost over the next couple of years to resolve slip and flooding issues or upgrade infrastructure.
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6 December 2016
Porirua’s new splash pad designed for fun
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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