Shin­ing Porirua way

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By KRIS DANDO

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.