Many new be­gin­nings in store for us in 2011

Ma­bel’s slice of heaven

Kapi-Mana News - - OPINION/NEWS -

At the close of 2010 one thing is cer­tain: 2011 prom­ises to be a year of new lead­er­ship and change. With lo­cal body elec­tions and the re­cent Mana by-elec­tion now com­plete, a swathe of fresh faces will be mak­ing de­ci­sions for our com­mu­nity.

The by-elec­tion saw Labour’s Kris Faafoi se­cure the Mana seat, with Na­tional’s MP Hekia Parata a close sec­ond.

For­mer mayor Jenny Brash de­cided not to stand for re­elec­tion for the may­oralty, which paved the way for Nick Leggett to se­cure the may­oral chain.

The coun­cil elec­tions put a suite of first-term coun­cil­lors around the coun­cil ta­ble.

Gary Simp­son has be­come the new chief ex­ec­u­tive of Porirua City Coun­cil.

Mr Simp­son is a very ex­pe­ri­enced ex­ec­u­tive who has held a num­ber of se­nior po­si­tions in lo­cal govern­ment.

He has in­ti­mate knowl­edge of lo­cal and re­gional is­sues and will be an as­set to projects such as the city cen­tre re­vi­tal­i­sa­tion project.

The project is a key ini­tia­tive for the shap­ing of the busi­ness en­vi­ron­ment and for en­sur­ing that eco­nomic op­por­tu­ni­ties are max­imised.

The abil­ity of busi­nesses to grow in Porirua City will be largely de­pen­dent on how well the project is ex­e­cuted.

It has been a good year for the Porirua Cham­ber of Com­merce, with our mem­ber­ship steadily grow­ing and the cham­ber ac­tively pro­vid­ing a fo­rum for busi­nesses to be heard.

This year we have fo­cused on is­sues af­fect­ing the busi­ness com­mu­nity and how to best be an ad­vo­cate for in­dus­try sec­tors.

Our in­dus­try ad­vi­sory com­mit­tees have proved to be ef­fec­tive in en­sur­ing that the views of mem­bers are rep­re­sented.

Our net­work­ing events and busi­ness awards pro­gramme have also been well re­ceived and have col­lec­tively con­trib­uted to a strong lo­cal busi­ness com­mu­nity.

The West­pac Porirua City Busi­ness Ex­cel­lence Awards evening was held on Oc­to­ber 29 at Te Rau­paraha Arena.

It was a glit­ter­ing evening of cel­e­bra­tion of suc­cess, at­tended by more than 280 guests.

There were 12 win­ners cho­sen from 33 fi­nal­ists.

The supreme win­ner was the Black Rose Florist De­sign Store.

This fan­tas­tic busi­ness has in­creased its mar­ket share of cor­po­rate clients through its pro­fes­sion­al­ism and com­mit­ment to ex­cel­lence.

This year, the pri­mary is­sue for lo­cal busi­nesses has been the un­cer­tainty in these times of fis­cal con­straint and in­creas­ing de­mands on busi­nesses.

Next year the cham­ber will con­tinue to en­gage ac­tively with Porirua City Coun­cil to iden­tify and plan for eco­nomic devel­op­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties in Porirua.

Our chal­lenge is to pro­mote the city as an at­trac­tive place to op­er­ate a busi­ness.

This is con­tin­gent on cer­tainty and clar­ity about coun­cil reg­u­la­tory re­quire­ments and the like­li­hood of busi­ness pro­pos­als be­ing ac­cepted.

This is an area that re­quires con­tin­ued col­lab­o­ra­tive ef­fort be­tween the cham­ber and the coun­cil.

The Porirua Cham­ber of Com­merce has be­come the plat­form for a strong lo­cal busi­ness com­mu­nity and many in­di­vid­u­als have expressed pride in be­ing part of the or­gan­i­sa­tion.

The tire­less com­mit­ment and ded­i­ca­tion of our board has played a sig­nif­i­cant part in this out­come.

I con­grat­u­late ev­ery­one who has played their part in mak­ing Porirua City a great place to do busi­ness and wish you all the very best for next year. From the check­out aisle to cen­tre stage, Porirua New World em­ployee Ma­bel He­witt was in her el­e­ment when she was se­lected for a star­ring role in a new advertisement where su­per­mar­ket staff play in­stru­ments made of fruits and veg­eta­bles.

Ms He­witt’s tal­ent was dis­cov­ered by Dave Dob­byn fol­low­ing a na­tion­wide au­di­tion tour of New World su­per­mar­kets.

New World Porirua owner­op­er­a­tor War­ren Wright knew Ms He­witt would be per­fect for the ad.

‘‘She is the life and soul of this place, ev­ery­one loves her and if there is ever any­thing mu­si­cal hap­pen­ing, she is al­ways in­volved,’’ he said.

‘‘Shop­pers come up to her all the time now and ask her about the cam­paign. It has given our cus­tomers some­thing re­ally dif­fer­ent to talk to her about – they say, ‘you’re the lady from the ad, aren’t you?’ ’’

The advertisement shows New World staff play­ing Dob­byn’s Slice of Heaven on in­stru­ments made from ev­ery­day prod­ucts and pro­duce that can be bought from the su­per­mar­ket.

Ms He­witt has played the gui­tar and ukulele since she was a child and says it was a great thrill to play in the or­ches­tra.

‘‘It was so nice to meet other New World staff from around the coun­try. I would never have had this op­por­tu­nity oth­er­wise. Once we started play­ing it was like we had been to­gether for a long time; we all just clicked,’’ she said.

Fresh sounds: Ma­bel He­witt with the pump­kin ukulele she can be seen play­ing in New World’s lat­est ad­ver­tis­ing cam­paign.

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