New residents’ group open to all
The new association representing residents in Cannons Creek might be a mouthful to pronounce, but it has been created with the best intentions, says its inaugural chairman.
Aporo Joyce, the suburb’s community constable from 1981 to 1993, says the Cannons Creek Residents’ and Ratepayers’ and State Tenants’ Association has only held a handful of meetings but is already gathering momentum.
The ‘‘state tenants’’ part of the title was only added recently because the committee felt it was important Housing New Zealand residents had as much input as ratepayers.
‘‘[HNZ tenants are] a substantial number of people and they need some sort of formal representation.’’
Although he lives in Tawa, Mr Joyce says he will always have an affinity with Cannons Creek.
The new association came about at the beginning of this year when Mr Joyce went to the Creek to give the community police base a boost.
After talking to residents and business owners, he saw the need for an organised group to speak for them.
There was a previous association, the Eastern Porirua Residents’ Association but ‘‘it’s fallen away and nothing has been active for some time’’, says Mr Joyce.
‘‘Through word-of-mouth we spoke to a few people and there was enough out there to say ‘let’s have a go’.’’
The group has just eight members, but since there are funds with Porirua City
Aporo Joyce is familiar with what makes Cannons Creek tick after years on the beat in the suburb. He wants residents to stand up and have more of a say about what is needed in their community. Council’s village planning budget to spend on Cannons Creek, he is optimistic more residents will join.
The group meets every third week but has not yet prioritised any projects.
Mr Joyce believes it is prudent to wait until the new council is settled, and identify which eastern ward councillors they should approach for guidance and support.
He believes issues such as restoring the shopping centre, traffic, graffiti and vandalism, licensing laws and community safety will be at the forefront.
‘‘What’s important is that we go to the council with solutions, as well as the problems.
‘‘I don’t want us to be one of those groups that just whines about what’s wrong, without offering answers as well.
‘‘So that’s why we need new thinking, and to encourage local residents and ratepayers to join us.’’
PCC planner Ian Barlow says the new organisation provides the council with another vital link to the community.
While day-to-day operations such as sewage, rubbish collection and water will be undertaken by the council, a residents’ association can alert the council to things to enhance the area.
‘‘A lot of decisions are not made unless people jump up and down, and we’re not necessarily the experts on what is needed to make a neighbourhood or suburb better for locals.
‘‘A group that can pull a community together, get information out of them through meetings or events, and put it to council in a sensible way, is going to achieve things,’’ Mr Barlow says.
To participate in the Cannons Creek association or for more information, call Mr Joyce on 232 5786.