Shining Porirua way
The conversion of a ‘‘ bleak and bland’’ parking lot into an engaging community space will be celebrated in Waitangirua this weekend.
Waitangirua Community Park, a project driven by the suburb’s residents as part of Porirua City Council’s village planning programme, will be officially unveiled on Saturday.
Consultation with the public dates back to 2008, through preparation and approval of designs. Residents have been involved most recently with planting and painting.
The result is a park that has retained the basketball court but now has a volleyball court, children’s adventure playground, adult fitness stations, performance space, and barbecue and picnic area.
‘‘We are so proud of the community effort that has gone into this park,’’ said design group leader Moana Tuariki. ‘‘Together we have created something really special that [everyone] can enjoy. Before, it was so bleak and bland here, but talking to people, all the feedback has been really positive.’’
A feature is the massive carved waharoa (entranceway), and there are carvings throughout the park that tell the stories of the diverse people of Waitangirua.
Porirua Mayor Nick Leggett said it is a wonderful example of why the city has been recognised internationally as a world leader for community empowerment and participation. Porirua won three golds at the International Liveable Communities Awards in Chicago last month.
‘‘The development of Waitangirua Community Park is a shining example of what we call the ‘Porirua way’: people working together, combining their passion for a strong and positive community, to make our city the best it can be,’’ Mr Leggett said.
‘‘This is going to be such a great space for all residents.’’
The opening of the park will take place between 10am and 11am on December 11. Ms Tuariki, Mr Leggett and Local Government Minister Rodney Hide will speak. After the formalities there will be entertainment and market stalls until 2pm.
New park: Local resident and leader of the design group for Waitangirua Community Park, Moana Tuariki, with granddaughter Takiata, is confident the transformed area in front of the mall will be well-utilised.