City cen­tre

Kapi-Mana News - - OPINION -

Edi­tor,

Simon Calvert, the ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the Porirua Cham­ber of Com­merce, has writ­ten in de­fence of the pro­posal to re­ju­ve­nate the city cen­tre [ KMN, Septem­ber 7].

He fails to ad­dress an im­por­tant ob­jec­tion raised by pre­vi­ous cor­re­spon­dents. Porirua City is al­ready well-served by other shop­ping cen­tres.

What busi­nesses and re­tail­ers in the North City mall and Me­gaCen­tre are ex­pected to close and move to the re­vi­talised city cen­tre? Is there an op­ti­mum num­ber of shop-front re­tail­ers and other busi­nesses that the city can sen­si­bly ab­sorb?

Most of the Porirua may­oral can­di­dates ei­ther op­pose or have strong reser­va­tions about the city cen­tre up­grade. Their re­straint is com­mend­able, es­pe­cially in an elec­tion year.

The new mayor and coun­cil must take a fresh look at this costly pro­posal. Porirua ratepay­ers are en­ti­tled to ex­pect a more pru­dent use of coun­cil funds.

Mr Calvert’s com­ments about the CBD canopies are not re­as­sur­ing. He claims the build­ing own­ers and their ten­ants in the CBD pay a tar­geted rate to re­pay a loan which paid for the canopies. Does Porirua City Coun­cil have no fi­nan­cial in­ter­est in or re­spon­si­bil­ity for the canopies?

Mr Calvert is cor­rect to request the views of the small group of build­ing and busi­ness own­ers be lis­tened to, but his re­marks about the life of the canopies com­ing to a close and their im­mi­nent re­moval sug­gests he may not be pre­pared to lis­ten to other view­points.

He and the group he rep­re­sents have ap­par­ently al­ready made up their minds.

The canopies’ fate is not the main is­sue, it is only part of the larger pro­posal to in­volve the coun­cil in a multi-mil­lion dol­lar City Cen­tre Re­vi­tal­i­sa­tion Plan. Is this how Porirua cit­i­zens want their rates spent? The new coun­cil should make a de­ci­sion which will ben­e­fit all of the city’s ratepay­ers. - ROSS PIPER,

Ti­tahi Bay pos­si­bil­ity of coun­cil charg­ing for park­ing in the CBD. Their ar­gu­ment seems to be ‘‘the lack of day­time park­ing for shop­pers’’.

I find this dif­fi­cult to be­lieve with the amount of avail­able car parks in and around the CBD on a daily ba­sis. Councillor Euon Mur­rell states ‘‘the re­al­ity is that parts of the city cen­tre are go­ing to be me­tered’’.

Has the com­mu­nity of Porirua been con­sulted or is the coun­cil just go­ing to ram it down our throats? I chal­lenge Mr Mur­rell to take a walk in and around the CBD on a work day and count the ac­tual num­ber of un-used car parks avail­able.

Porirua has some of the high­est rates in the coun­try and now the coun­cil wants to add paid park­ing to that bur­den.

A ques­tion for coun­cil: When was the last time a shop­per made a com­plaint be­cause they could not find a car park?

If coun­cil truly have lo­cal busi­nesses and res­i­dents at heart then keep the free park­ing, oth­er­wise it’s just an­other rev­enue-gath­er­ing ex­er­cise for the coun­cil.

If par­tial paid park­ing is

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