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From your Mayor - 19 December 2023

Porirua City Council Christmas photo 2023

Season’s greetings from: (back, left to right) Ngāti Toa Kaumatua Dr Taku Parai, Cr Geoff Hayward, Cr Tracy Johnson, Cr Izzy Ford, Mayor Anita Baker, Cr Kathleen Filo, Deputy Mayor Kylie Wihapi, (and front) Cr Ross Leggett, Cr Nathan Waddle, Cr Mike Duncan and Cr Josh Trlin (absent Cr Moze Galo).

As we bid farewell to this year, I’d like to extend a heartfelt Merry Christmas to everyone, as well as to share my hopes for a fruitful and bright 2024.

Amid all the festivities, let’s spare a thought for those facing financial stress, especially in light of cost of living pressures. It’s great to see ongoing support for local food banks, and my gratitude goes to donors and volunteers at organisations like Cannons Creek Community Pantry, St Vincent’s, and the Porirua Food Bank run by the Salvation Army. Their efforts have become even more crucial following the closure in April of St Anne’s Pantry. If you’re in a position to help, your donation can make a significant difference.

In local community developments, Titahi Bay recently welcomed a new park, unveiled on 3 December at the previous location of the Marines Hall. This space is a refreshing addition to our city and is definitely worth a visit.

A pivotal moment for Porirua came with the Council’s endorsement of the Proposed Porirua District Plan (PDP) on 30 November.

Initially notified in August 2020, the PDP underwent significant revisions with Variation 1 in August 2022, following central government directives for more medium- and high-density housing in metropolitan council district plans.

While taking these directives on board, the Council has balanced the need for increased housing density with the health and wellbeing of Porirua’s residents. Protective measures against excessive shading from tall buildings have been implemented in the most affected areas. Additionally, urban design guides for new housing and commercial developments have been introduced. This Plan represents a major step forward in Porirua’s journey, fostering both environmental care and varied housing opportunities.

Environmental stewardship was a key theme this year, highlighted by the streamside planting programme engaging 1,000 students from 28 schools. Along with community-driven efforts, these students helped plant 19,000 of the 110,000 plants introduced this year. This work is vital for the health of our harbour and is set to continue with vigour.

I would like to express my sincere appreciation to my fellow Council members for their dedication and collegial approach that always puts the city’s best interests front and centre. A special thanks to Wendy Walker and all our Council staff, whose diligent work ensures our city’s smooth operation. Their collective efforts are truly invaluable.

Once the buzz of Christmas has passed, get ready for a vibrant Wellington Anniversary weekend filled with live music and dancing as part of our free Summer Concert Series. The series runs from 6–8pm each night between 19–22 January at Aotea Lagoon. Enjoy performances by The Blueprint on Friday, the Satisfactions on Saturday, The Shenanigans on Sunday, and Shaun Preston on Monday. Additionally, plans are in motion for a dynamic Waitangi Day event, featuring free live music, performances, activities, and stalls. I encourage everyone to visit the Porirua Council website for information on upcoming summer events.

As we conclude this year and look ahead, I reiterate my Christmas wishes to you and your families. May 2024 bring new opportunities and no shortage of joy.

19 Dec 2023