Porirua City Council applauds the 1 November announcement by the Government to invest $1.5 billion over 25 years in Porirua City.
A key part of the Porirua project is to provide 4900 warm, dry, healthy homes – a mix of affordable market and state housing across Porirua City. There will also be more neighbourhood amenities, upgraded parks, and better connections created to make it easier for people in eastern Porirua to meet and get around.
In western Porirua, the Government will be partnering with Ngāti Toa Rangatira to improve social housing.
“This is a sea change moment for our city,” says Mayor Mike Tana. “Although a number of Porirua residents enjoy some of the highest household incomes in the country, we’ve been all too aware of the struggles some of our families have to make ends meet. Now these families can look forward to having warm, dry, affordable homes for their tamariki and whānau.
“With Transmission Gully opening in 2020 and current work that we’re doing on a Growth Strategy for the city and a review of our District Plan, this is a further exciting opportunity for Porirua to grow into maturity. This investment is going to stimulate economic activity and create greater opportunities for everyone in our city.”
The Government proposal is to renew approximately 2900 state homes in the east and west of the city, and build approximately a further 2000 affordable and market homes, including KiwiBuild homes.
“And the best part is that this amazing project is not costing Porirua ratepayers. The $1.5 billion investment will come from the Government. Council will not be making any contribution above what has already been agreed with the community in our Long Term Plan 2018–28," says Mayor Tana.
Deputy Mayor Cr Izzy Ford says it’s important that the people who will be affected have a say in any changes to come.
“The regeneration includes talking with the community about how their neighbourhoods will be designed. HLC, a subsidiary of Housing New Zealand, will manage the project in eastern Porirua. They have set up a drop-in space in Cannons Creek, so people can easily get to know the team who will be leading the project. We hope the community will feel relaxed and be able to share their ideas or raise any concerns they may have. A massive change like this has to involve the community and I understand that HNZ have a skilled team whose focus is on the people, so that is very reassuring.”
She says all existing HNZ tenants in eastern and western Porirua will continue to be housed, and their rent will not increase as a result of these intended changes.
Porirua City Council Chief Executive Wendy Walker says this is the biggest Government investment since Porirua became a city in 1965.
“The HLC team brings a wealth of experience to the project. HLC has built a development model, refined from their 10 plus years working in Hobsonville, which allows them to deliver large-scale housing projects within a relatively short timeframe.
“Housing New Zealand is also partnering with Ngāti Toa Rangatira to upgrade HNZ properties in western Porirua, which they will manage on the Government’s behalf.”
Ms Walker says the Porirua development will form part of the wider Porirua Growth Strategy.
“We’ll be consulting with residents later this month about the wider Porirua Growth Strategy, and HLC will be consulting with the community about Porirua regeneration early next year.
“It’s crucial that the people who live and work in the city share their invaluable local knowledge and experience – good and bad – so that information can be factored in to our planning for Porirua.
“Porirua is at a real crossroads with Transmission Gully, Kenepuru Landing, the proposed Adventure Park – and now the Porirua development. They will all have a big impact on our city in the coming years,” Ms Walker says.
“That’s why we need to shape the change and growth of our city and understand the challenges and opportunities Porirua is going to face in the longer term.”
Mayor Tana says Porirua is a special place, with a proud Ngāti Toa history, a great sense of community and diversity of cultures – and we want to celebrate that and grow.
“Our people are welcoming, friendly, active and accepting of others. We’ll be working alongside HNZ and HLC to make sure the things that make the area really special – our people, our amazing harbour, rolling hills, stunning sea views and native landscapes – are maintained and enhanced.”
31 Oct 2018