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The time to save our environment is now

The time to save our environment is now and the Porirua City Council must show initiative

Titahi Bay, Pukearu Bay, Plimmerton, Whtiby and Pauatahanui all struggle to maintain the natural character of their environment but cannot do so with the current council District Plan says the deputy chairperson of the Porirua City Council's Environment Committee.

The District Plan sets out the rules for town planning. It says what can and cannot be done.

Cr Shaw says the rules in Porirua City are excessively developer friendly. "Anyone can do pretty much anything".

The decision of the Porirua Council to delay a major review of the District Plan until 2009 is foolish. Council was forced to this decision because they do not have the $0.5 million that they need to do the work.

Instead, they will spend $150,000 for the next two years to tinker with the District Plan. Already the list of things people want done exceeds the sum of money available.

A deliberate decision of the council when the District Plan was written, over 10 years ago, was to have it encourage development. "We did achieve that and at the time Porirua City was hailed as being the most positive city in New Zealand for developers".

Public attitudes have changed, and the people are more concerned with their quality of life.

People want to see the hill tops green, and to have spaces between suburbs. They want access to reserves and beaches. They want to be able to launch boats and not to be stuck in traffic jams during the week and at weekends.

This means council has to limit development in some areas. We have to stop planning for traffic jams.

We have to worry about aesthetics - how the place looks and feels is important.

Residents want their suburb to keep its traditions and character. They want modern infrastructure behind charm and style.

There is no reason why the Porirua City Council cannot deliver all these things, but they have to find the money and do the work.

I am very concerned to see the values of the city being lost by default each day.

Porirua City Councillor Robert Shaw

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