The Committee has had another busy year working with local authorities and other groups to support local residents and the community.
The Residents Association has three projects that Porirua City Council has allocated funding to this year: the Green and Gold Trails, the shared cycle way/footpath between the shops and Pa Road, and a community garden. The Council’s Village Planning Programme has had some changes this year as a result of its success – there are now 12 communities operating under the programme, and the budget has remained at $500,000 a year. PCC has changed how it liaises with communities and manages the programme; however, PCC is committed to keeping the programme running and properly resourced and managed.
As one of the earliest communities in the programme, Pukerua Bay is well-established and does not need as much financial support from the Council as some newer communities in the programme do. However, our experience with the programme means we are in a good position to achieve our aims. We remain strongly committed to it as a way of communities identifying and achieving their goals to build the sort of community they want.
The funding for one of our priority projects, the shared pathway next to State Highway 1, remains a challenge and we will continue to support PCC as it attempts to access other sources of funding, such as central government and Greater Wellington, to make the connection between Te Ara Harakeke and the cycle track to the north of Pukerua Bay.
Raroa Reserve clean-up
The was an extremely successful event in late August, with around 75 people turning up to clean decades of rubbish out of the Raroa Reserve. This was a wonderful example of co-operation between residents and PCC, which supplied equipment, staff and trucks to remove the 20 loads of rubbish taken from the reserve. We had worked with Pukerua Bay School to help them organise a students’ art competition to design posters to be displayed at reserves around Pukerua Bay. The clean-up was more successful than we imagined it might be, and everyone who took part was very encouraged by its success.
Credit should go to Ted Coats, Gay Hay and Kate Dreaver from Pukerua Bay and Bill Inge, David Redmayne and Geoff Chevis from PCC for planning this event.
This clean-up came out of our Vegetation and Landscape Plan to identify areas of public land and who will maintain them. We are currently identifying other areas where it can be repeated in the coming year.
In early December we had the unveiling of the Pou Tangaroa at the southern end of the foreshore. Around 130 people turned up for the dawn blessing and celebration of our care and shared guardianship of the Bay between the Pukerua Bay community, Ngati Toa Rangatira and Porirua City Council. This magnificent carving was done by local carver Herman Salzmann and is admired by many locals and visitors.
Green and Gold Trails
The Green and Gold Trails are going to be integrated with Te Araroa Walkway as a New Zealand trial. The trails have been mapped with all the potential sites marked, which will bring the trails together. Four marker posts have been put in at sites, but there are many to go.
We are developing a system for identifying the positions and posts with information that can be linked to more detailed interpretive information on a website. This is likely to be a trial for how Te Araroa Trust can integrate its trail into local trails around the country. We expect to make much more progress on this project this year.
We received some very good news in August on the issue of permanent protection of the fishery in Pukerua Bay. We had been working with Ngati Toa Rangatira on getting permanent protection when the current regulation was expected to expire in September 2014. When the regulation currently restricting fishing to hand-held lines only came into effect in 2009, we were told it would be for a period of five years. However, we have now been reassured by the Ministry of Fisheries that the current regulation has no expiry date and there is no need to make another application to extend the protection. This has been backed up by an examination of the wording of the regulation.
However, poaching still takes place in the Bay, and we are working with beach residents and the Ministry of Fisheries to make sure the restrictions are well communicated to people wanting to fish in Pukerua Bay, and that it is easy for people to report suspected poaching to the Ministry of Fisheries.
New equipment for residents’ use
We have acquired two new pieces of equipment this year that residents can use. We have purchased a new Kipor portable electrical generator as a back-up in the case of a civil emergency, and for use at community events. The Pukerua Bay civil defence group is maintaining the generator so it is available for use.
The Plimmerton Rotary Club donated a new AED defibrillator to the Residents Association. The defibrillator has been installed on the new toilet block by the shops on the main road. This was a very generous donation, and we are very grateful to the Club for its gift. This is available for anyone to use in case of an emergency. We are organising training for members of the community, including people who work nearby and members of the civil defence group, who would like to learn how to use it in case someone suffers a heart attack. We will be advertising this training when it is organised.
Wellington Local government review
There has been less activity on this issue this year, although the Wellington Region Local Government Review Panel released its report in October 2012 recommending a preferred model for local government in the region. Porirua City Council and Greater Wellington Regional Council submitted a proposal to the Local Government Commission, which the Residents Association wrote in general support of, while stressing the need to ensure community democracy was protected and communities continued to have good access to councillors and council officers. It is likely that the Local Government Commission will put out a draft proposal early next year, and we would encourage all residents to examine it and give their views on it.
Submissions to councils and other authorities
The Committee has made a number of submissions on various proposals or represented the community at forums. These included:
- Porirua City Council Annual Plan — this included support for the proposal by the Porirua Economic Development Group for an efficiency audit, a proposal that was accepted by PCC.
- PCC’s significant urban vegetation sites district plan change proposal — we told PCC that its proposal took an unnecessarily heavy-handed approach to protecting significant areas of native vegetation and its approach was likely to fail. We recommended a partnership approach, and we were pleased to see that PCC is reconsidering its approach. We will keep a close eye on this issue, as it could affect many landowners in Pukerua Bay.
- Village Planning forum and bus trip run by PCC for residents’ associations.
Boxing Day beach bash
The committee supported the organisers of last Boxing Day’s ‘Beach Bash’ on the foreshore. This was a very successful community event, and the organisers plan to repeat it this year, which we are again supporting.
Our active team of civil defence volunteers continue to organise, train and prepare under the leadership of our Civil Defence Co-ordinator Robyn Moore. Regular training and real-life exercises associated with the recent earthquakes in Wellington have allowed the Community Response Team to practise the Pukerua Bay Emergency Management Plan. They are continuing to build on the awareness in the community to increase preparedness for natural disasters.
We remain concerned about the future of the Pre-school and want to ensure this valued community service remains available to residents. We have kept in close contact with the local parents committee and Wellington Free Kindergarten Association, and will support them in their attempts to maintain this service in Pukerua Bay.
The amount of graffiti in the community, particularly that associated with the skate park, is something many people in the community find unacceptable. We have been in discussions with PCC’s Graffiti Management Co-ordinator about the problem and he is planning to work with the school next year on an art project for the skate park. This work is connected with our ongoing environmental work as exemplified by the Raroa Reserve clean-up.
I want to thank the members of the Executive Committee — Ted Coats, June Penhey, Gill England, Kate Dreaver, Geert van de Vorstenbosch, Dagmar Pesendorfer, Pauline Morse, Robyn Moore and Jonathan Jull — for their work this year. The Committee’s success depends on their contribution and the support we get from other people who help us in our work on behalf of the community. These include Tony Jackman, Margaret Blair, Gay Hay, Pat Hanley, and the members of the Civil Defence team.
On behalf of the Association and the Committee I also want to thank the City and Regional Councillors and staff we work with, and who attend our meetings and support the community. The productive working relationships we have with them are very helpful and, in particular, we value the support we get from PCC through the Village Planning Programme.
Iain MacLean, Chairperson
29 October 2013