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From your Mayor - 28 June 2020

Anita Baker 2019

Now we are in Alert Level 1, we are all hopeful the Covid-19 outbreak will be in the rearview mirror. But there remains a great deal of uncertainty, especially when it comes to the longer-term social and economic impacts of the lockdown. We know already that small and medium-sized businesses have suffered a steep decline, and it’s still unclear for how long economic conditions will remain daunting for them.

What’s impressed me the most during the lockdown has been the eagerness of workers and employers to minimise job losses, not just by taking advantage of the Wage Subsidy Scheme, but by dipping into their own savings or taking short-term pay cuts. That said, many people in our community have still lost part or all of their income as a result of the crisis.

One way our wider community can help is by donating food items to help our local schools restock the emergency supplies they used doing lockdown. We currently have collection points at the Whitby, Cannons Creek and City libraries, and the reception areas at Te Rauparaha Arena and our Cobham Court Admin building.

For small businesses that are doing it tough, the Council has partnered with Te Puni Kokiri and Pacific Business Trust to offer support. In conjunction with WellingtonNZ and the Chamber of Commerce, we have established an online hub for business which you can find by visiting poriruacity.govt.nz and searching ‘Covid-19 business support’.

As consumers, we can all help by supporting the many great businesses throughout Porirua. I urge all Porirua residents to shop and dine locally. You won’t be disappointed!

Sport is such an important part of community life here in Porirua, and it’s finally coming back. To enable local sporting organisations to get moving again, the Council has waived or frozen fees. Charges that are usually paid for winter ground and venue hire won’t be charged for the period up until June 2020. This will benefit about 36 clubs in our community like Norths, the Vikings, and Western Suburbs, through to smaller clubs like Ngāti Toa Tennis Club. We’re also reducing the annual reserve lease fees for six months which will benefit all 70 groups and we’re not going to increase next year’s fees and charges to give the clubs time to get back on their feet.

This past Queen’s Birthday, a couple of prominent locals received well-deserved honours. Congratulations to Christopher Te’o of Whitby, who was honoured for services to health, cycling and the Pacific community, and Dr Janet Catherine Turnbull of Titahi Bay for services to health.

I’d like to thank everyone in the city for co-operating so well during the lockdown. It was a challenging time for families and individuals, but together we came out of it in strong shape.

28 Jun 2020