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Porirua City Council agrees Long-term Plan

At a marathon meeting yesterday, Porirua’s Mayor and Councillors weighed multiple views from the community to set the direction and budget for the city over the next 20 years.

“There was robust debate during the five-hour meeting,” says City Direction Committee Chair ‘Ana Coffey. “Different opinions were expressed around the council table as councillors represented the various views and requests from the community.”

Mayor Mike Tana says he’s happy with where decisions landed.

“We’ve listened to the people of Porirua and reflected that in this Plan while providing funding that will make our road intersections safer, our infrastructure more resilient so both the harbour and health of our people is protected, and to complete pathways so we can enjoy walking beside our beautiful harbour.

“The committee agreed to bring forward funding of $2.4 million to upgrade intersections at Whitford Brown Ave and Papakōwhai Road, $1.2 million at Whitford Brown Ave and Okowai Road and $0.9 million at Kenepuru Drive and Raiha Street,” Mayor Tana says.

“These safety improvements will also support growth into the future, particularly once the link roads from Transmission Gully Highway are open and new subdivisions are completed. We’re also bringing forward $18 million over the next 10 years to upgrade our stormwater, wastewater and water supply services and in later years, our Wastewater Treatment Plant.”

The Committee all wanted to see the Titahi Bay shared walking/cycling pathway completed sooner. They agreed to bring forward $400,000 in 2018/19 for the design and consenting of the pathway between Wi Neera Drive and Onepoto and to provide $2.6 million to complete construction in 2019/20. As well, they agreed to provide an additional $350,000 in 2020/21 to complete the Te Ara Piko pathway around Pauatahanui Inlet in partnership with Plimmerton Rotary.

An $8 million investment was included in seven years’ time for a partnership project to revitalise Eastern Porirua. Further work will be done with the community on this over the next three years and to identify appropriate investment partners.

Councillors signed off $280,000 to upgrade the popular basketball facility in Cannons Creek locally called ‘the cage’ and $50,000 each year for subsidised recycling in schools and preschools. Clr Coffey says both of these projects were a result of the great engagement Council has with Porirua’s children and young people.

On the issue of paid parking, the committee voted against short term paid parking but agreed to increase the cost of long-term parking from $5 to $7.50 per day to sections of Lyttelton Avenue, Station Road and Lydney Place North carpark.

New items agreed included a $200,000 second dog park on part of Plimmerton Domain with two areas, one for small dogs and one for large and $25,000 for the Citizens Advice Bureau over the next three years to support their work.

Decisions were also made to not spend money. There will be no provision for the purchase of strategic property originally proposed at $11 million. Instead any investment decisions will be made on a case by case basis.

To help offset any additional costs as a result of community feedback, the Council will now not achieve a balanced budget until 2022/23.

Mayor Mike Tana says the projected average rates increase will be reduced from the proposed 5.25 per cent - hopefully under 5 per cent. He thanked the community for working together with the Council to get the best Plan possible.

Chief Executive Wendy Walker says further work will be done by staff to work out the details. All details will be confirmed at the council meeting on 27 June.

“The Long-term Plan is a mammoth effort involving many hours of work over many months. We’ve worked very hard as a whole council to produce a Plan that reflects the challenges that face us as a city while responding to community wishes. We’ve had to restructure some longstanding financial issues, try to manage the very significant growth that we are facing and to balance these with community aspirations.”

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