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From your Mayor - 19 May 2020

Anita Baker 2019

It almost goes without saying that small businesses throughout Porirua have been doing it tough. I’ve spoken to many, and been touched by the extent to which our local businesses are bending over backwards to keep people employed despite the annihilation of their revenue. In all walks of life, Kiwis have shown this kind of compassion for each other during this difficult time. The way we have rallied to stop the spread of Covid-19, with great success, makes me proud to be a New Zealander.

I want to convey a special word of thanks to those Council employees who have worked tirelessly throughout the lockdown. This has been a trying time for them, but they have shown great diligence and professionalism throughout. They are a credit to our organisation.

As a Council, we are determined to play our part by responding to the short, medium and long-term challenges brought into focus with Covid-19 and its resulting economic impacts.

Inevitably, we will need to revisit our priorities and reduce costs where possible. At the same time, we can’t afford to drop the ball when it comes to making necessary investments for the future. Deferring critical infrastructure projects to cut costs today will end up costing us more tomorrow. Our challenge as a Council is to get that balance right.

It’s no secret that local bodies throughout the country are feeling the pinch, and this transfers directly to ratepayers. Now is surely the time for central government to look into ways to examine how we can do things better. This is particularly true when it comes to funding expensive but necessary improvements in areas like water Infrastructure. I am working with mayors across the region and beyond to persuade the Government that such changes are needed – and soon.

You will see ways the Council is seeking to help local business. But they need your support. We should all find ways to help local businesses get back on their feet. Rather than heading to Wellington for a meal, consider the many great dining options closer to home. Get your car fixed locally. Explore the city centre, and take full advantage of our neighbourhood shopping experiences.

These are our neighbours and friends. Let’s offer them a hand.

We have heard from our low decile schools that they have been using their emergency food supplies. I’d like to ask anyone who can, to drop off non-perishable food items such as tinned food into any Council facility, be it the pool, library or Council reception, so we can help replenish these supplies.

19 May 2020