Village Planning

The Village Planning Programme is Porirua City Council’s (PCC) innovative programme to encourage community participation and empowerment. It started operating in 2003 when the city had only four Residents’ Associations. In 2006, Pukerua Bay became one of the first communities to develop a Village Plan. Porirua now has fourteen community groups, each with a plan of its own.

One of the Programme’s fundamental principles is that the plans must be created out of widespread community consultation. They should never just be a vehicle for a Residents’ Association Committee’s pet projects. We’ve consulted widely for every plan, and it’s resulted in some amazing new amenities for Pukerua Bay.

COVID-19 response report

With the COVID-19 lock down in 2020, people throughout our community reached out to help their neighbours. Some of us formed a group to create an organised response. We asked you what you thought about this, and that information has now been used to help write a report about “lessons learned”. We can use those lessons to help us revise our Village Plan. You can read the report here:

Previous village plans

What have we got from Village Planning?

Did you know that our wonderful skate park was a Village Planning project, the initiative of a group of keen young skaters? The old bowl was unusable, but the kids knew it could be made into something special. They developed a plan and petitioned the Residents’ Association to put it into the first Village Plan. Then they worked with a designer to create a new design, got parents on board to find funding, and worked with PCC to get it built.

When you’re sitting on the seats in the grassy dell near the Pou Tangaroa, you’re sitting on what used to be a car park. Locals worked with PCC to get rid of the asphalt, landscape the beachfront, and plant hundreds of trees to stabilise the cliffs. The wooden steps down the Goat Track also came from Village Planning funding.

The permanent marine protection measures were the result of the support the community gave to Ngāti Toa Rangitira’s application for legal protection. The relationship between Ngāti Toa, the beach and marine environment, and the community, is honoured and celebrated in the Pou Tangaroa carved by Hermann Salzmann. This was another Village Plan initiative.

The Food Forest was another Village Planning project. It now has a full head of steam, supported by an enthusiastic group of gardeners.

He Ara Pukerua has spent countless hours collating the history of Pukerua Bay and working with PCC to erect displays that teach us about our past. The display boards at the train station and beach, and the numerous information bollards, are all evidence of their work and the support of PCC’s Village Planning team and funding.

The footpath and extra lighting along Muri Road were also a Village Planning project, prompted by the closure of Muri Station. Residents were consulted and directed the final form of safer access.

Future of Village Planning in Porirua City

PCC officers have completed their consultation with communities and sent a proposed replacement to the Village Planning Programme to Te Puna Kōrero committee on Thursday 16 February 2023. The proposed replacement almost entirely removed the concept of village planning from the programme, replacing it with a new grant scheme for community groups. Councillors voted to leave the proposal ‘on the table’ and to include the proposal (including whatever modifications councillors might want made to it) in the 2024 Long-Term Plan. We are resisting any attempts to get rid of the concept of Village Planning and will continue to engage with council and other community groups to ensure it survives.