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Marine Education Center for Porirua City


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Marine Education Center for Porirua City

The Porirua City Council may seek to have the Wellington Marine Education Center sited in Porirua City.

Councillor Robert Shaw said he wanted his Council investigate some "rather obvious options", now that the Environment Court had rejected the Wellington Marine Conservation Trust proposal at Te Raekaihau on the South Wellington coast.

Cr Shaw said any facility would be have to be a world-class attraction that would showcase our region’s unique marine environment, and foster guardianship of New Zealand’s marine and coastal resources. "Naturally, it would involve Maori in a big way."

"Many people saw that this Center was the sort of facility we wanted within our City - it would strengthen our schools sector and be a public attraction. It would be consistent with the image of Porirua City and the aspirations of local people."

He said several councillors support the idea and it is now a question of having the chief executive investigate by holding discussions with the Marine Trust. The Trust visited the Porirua Council when they were developing their South Wellington proposal and councillors had been enthusiastic about the the proposal at that time. Porirua had sent an letter to support to the Wellington group.

"There may now be an opportunity for a partnership with a substantial functioning organization and others with a business interests in education and the coastal environment. Until will investigate we will not know if the there is a real opportunity or not."

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An important aspect of the proposal is that it could be associated with a marine reserve for Porirua City. "We must find new ways to protect our coast and restore it to health". From the point-of-view of the City, a marine reserve has the advantages of accessing central government funding. It is the taxpayer and not that ratepayer that pays then to maintain the environment.

Mr Shaw would not be drawn on the best site but he said there had already been a marine reserve proposal developed between Plimmerton and Pukerua Bay. Equally, there were sites at Titahi Bay. Any proposal would have to be developed slowly with the community and many interest groups. Mr Shaw said he believed his council had the ability to work with the community in a constructive way.  "It is important right now to keep an open mind", he added.


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