The past year has been one of change, disruption, continuity and progress for the Residents’ Association. Significant progress continues with major projects including the completion of one long running project.
Porirua City Council (PCC) through its Village Planning Programme has been the principal source of funding for village projects.
In the past year funding allocated in the 2019/20 PCC financial year has been used to progress projects.
- Community Garden/Food Forest – $4000 for buildings and structures.
- He Ara Pukerua – $15,000.
- Drinking Fountain at skate park – $20,000
- Ara Harakeke shared pathway extension – $45,000 carried over from 2018/19
Following on from the local body election in 2018 the new PCC has suspended the allocation of new funding for the Village Planning Programme for the next two years as a number of projects over the villages have fallen behind in their implementation. During the hiatus PCC will be undertaking a review of the Village Planning Programme.
PCC’s suspension of funding has not damped enthusiasm for the preparation of a new village plan for Pukerua Bay and a survey to inform the development of a new plan is nearing its launch.
Ara Harakeke Share Pathway Extension
Contractors Mills Albert started work on the extension on 19 May 2020 and completed it on 22 June 2020 in time for its “Official Opening” on 23 June 2020.
Kate Dreaver performed the honours in cutting the ribbon, with a group of pupils (under supervision) doing the official ride of the extension.
While it had taken 12 years from its inclusion in the Village Plan the completion of this stage is a welcome improvement to the pathway and was assisted by addition funding from NZTA’s shared cycleways programme. Planning is underway for upgrading the pathway from Haunui Rd eastwards to State Highway one.
Drinking Fountain Skate Park
This project came about after pupils from Pukerua Bay School made a presentation of their vision for improvements to the skate park to the Residents’ Association. PCC also consulted Te Araroa Trust on the location of the fountain.
Work on the installation began on 18 June 2020 and it was commissioned on 1 July 2020.
He Ara Pukerua
The He Ara Pukerua heritage group has completed another productive year.
A final tranche of bollards was installed over the year, however there is one bollard which will not be able to be installed until there is a lowering of the speed limit heading north from the northern lookout.
Eight plaques were ready for installation in late March. The onset of the Covid19 Level 4 lockdown delayed their installation. The delay prompted the group to start up a Facebook page where release of the plaques was drip fed. As soon as lockdown was eased the plaques were installed and are now an integral part of the village.
A major stage was reached on 5 September with the opening of the Muri Platform Building as the He Ara Pukerua Railway History site by Mayor Anita Baker and Councillors Josh Trlin and Nathan Waddle following the blessing of the site by Ngati Toa.
The building houses the large history panels and a set of photo panels. Again much credit has to be given to Ashley and Margaret Blair whose years of research have come into play in providing interesting information on the role railway played in the formation of Pukerua Bay.
Pauline Morse again made a valuable contribution with her painting to illustrate the brickworks for the railway. Jane Comben’s design work on the interior panels and the exterior timeline at Muri Station together with her design work for the plaques around the Village complete the works carried out by the He Ara Pukerua group
While the is no further funding from the Village Planning Programme is available the group is working on further plaques and information panels. Work is continuing on shared projects with Ngati Toa.
Community Garden and Food Forest
The 35 fruit tree planted and numerous support trees planted two years ago continue to thrive. These additional plantings have been augmented with plantings of heritage peach, apricot, nectarine, walnut and avocado trees. Most of which are closer to the entrance to the garden that the initial plantings.
A composting area has been established and a worm farm is now in operation.
Rob Oscroft continued his valuable contribution to the development of the Community Garden throughout the year. Rob has since moved on from Pukerua Bay but maintains a keen interest in its development. His co-ordination role is being carried on by a group who meet from time to time at the RSA on a Thursday evening.
Gay Hay has organized an enthusiastic group of volunteers who meet at the Community Garden on the last Wednesday of the month. This group does much work weeding around the trees and is doing good work making the entrance to the Community Garden an attractive welcoming sight.
The Community Garden and Food Forest is located in Muri Reserve on a lease to the Residents’ Association and is part of the Village Plan. Access is principally from Muri platform. The Residents’ Association has an access agreement with KiwiRail enabling vehicular access along the platform to the garden.
Surfers’ Remembrance Seat
Following the death of Pukerua Bay resident and surfer Trevor Douglas, David Pepperell approached PCC for approval to install a memorial seat at the end of Ocean Parade. Many residents and the Resident’s Association supported David’s initiative and PCC gave approval for the memorial seat which is dedicated to Trevor Douglas and other surfers from Pukerua Bay.
With donations and support of several Porirua businesses David formed the seat and had it carved by Herman Saltzman. The seat was unveiled on 1 February 2020. The unveiling was attended by a large crowd of residents and former residents and include the firing of several miniature cannons.
David asked the Residents’ Association to accept donations for the construction of the seat, a request which was agreed to. The Residents’ Association will hold the funds surplus to the seat’s construction in trust for maintenance for the seat.
Plimmerton Farm Development
PCC referred the proposed plan changes removing the Plimmerton Farm land from Rural To Urban to the Minister for the Environment under the Streamlined Planning Process. The Residents’ Association made a submission on the proposed plan change. The Commission set up to hear submissions and make a recommendation to the Minister has heard and read all the submissions and is waiting for PCC to make its response to the submissions.
COVID 19 Response
The lockdown resulting from the incursion of the COVID 19 virus disrupted life in a way that had not previously been experienced. Very early on the Residents’ Association and The Hub worked together on a local response to the lockdown and very quickly organised a network of street co-ordinators and volunteers who leaflet dropped residents to identify those who needed help. The Group set up a newsletter to pass information on to residents and these were distributed first as hard copies and later by electronic means.
The results from this effort have been passed on to PCC to help inform it in redeveloping how it will respond to future emergencies.
The Executive Committee held on line meetings during the lockdown, initially a challenge for some of us.
I would like to thank the members of the Executive Committee- Iain MacLean (Deputy Chair)
Nikky Winchester (Secretary), June Penhey (Treasurer), Margaret Blair (On-line Treasurer), Jonathan Harker (Webmaster), Bill Jackson, Mel Galletly, Pauline Morum and Kate Dreaver for the work they have done over the year.
I would also like to thank Nathan Waddle, Northern Ward Councillor, are Jenny Brash< Greater Wellington Regional Councillor for their attendance at our meetings, support for our activities and insights into their respective councils.
Special thanks should go to PCC staff who are a great help in achieving our Village Plan Projects. Bill Inge works tirelessly to get the best out of our allocated funds.
22 October 2020