Congratulations to the artists and Porirua City Council for the new murals at Porirua Railway Station. What a change from the dingy walls of the past.
Also, I am delighted to see the woman from the Long Garden or early settler times depicted here, for the story is a fine legend for the city to honour.
The name Maara Roa, however, is not the name for the Maori maiden but is common te reo Maori for a garden – a protected valuable area of growing things, possibly cultivated (mara or maara), with the word roa meaning long. This was how the woman’s garden became known to people at the time.
The woman’s name is in fact unknown, while the name Maara Roa was given in 2000 by the late Alf Potaka, kaumatua of Maraeroa Marae, to the then-new conservation organisation Nga Hoa o Maara Roa, the Friends of Maara Roa, as they set out to restore and protect the threatened native bush remnant in the Cannons Creek Valley.
The area involved in this is 200 hectares, and the valley is almost five kilometres long, so this is indeed a long garden.
The reserve in which this ‘‘long garden’’ of bush and stream is being restored is Belmont Regional Park, which at over 300ha, covers most of the Belmont hills between Porirua, Wellington and Lower Hutt cities, and gives the public free access to Cannons Creek Valley from Cannons Creek Lakes Reserve and Takapu Rd.
One day the Cannons Creek Valley may be called Maara Roa, but so far the only map which shows the Long Garden area is on the society’s website at maararoa.org.nz.
As for the unnamed woman of the long garden, her story is told at Maraeroa Marae, where the wharenui is named after her generosity – Ukaipo Hiato (huato), The One Who Provides.
Go see the tekoteko and beautiful carvings there, read her full story, then come on a guided walk through the new maara roa nearby.
SYLVIA JENKIN, Friends of Maara Roa resurfacing, and so on.
This Friday morning, January 21, is a day to remember. It is an absolute delight to arrive at the station to see the wonderful artwork and local photo images of Porirua installed in the subway.
Porirua should be proud of all this and realise how these images are a feast for the eyes.
I felt inspired and filled with emotion for the wonderful artisans who had woven magic into these works for us to see. Thank you very much to you all. My plea is to let us take care of our Porirua heritage, treasure its value and behold the pleasure it brings to everyone.
2011 is a year of progress now and beyond for Porirua.
Thanks must go to all contributors, financial or otherwise, ratepayers, external funders and the workmen who have made this a museum for us to appreciate daily. KEREHI MAHANA,
Councillors such as Tim Sheppard and Euon Murrell were so outraged on our behalf, they spoke out publicly and were barred from taking part in decision-making. Where is the democracy in silencing the most passionate supporters of the quality of life in this city?
The council has allowed pressure and influence from outside the city to sway their judgement in favour of a commercial operation that is here to make money at any cost.
The public must be allowed to submit objections again or we must seriously question if members of the council who support the Aquacom agenda are worthy to represent our city. MARG CONAL,
Whitby years, and if this is solely based on the number of users then that at least is somewhat of a breakthrough.
Porirua City Council has known for at least a decade they have been in breach of their resource consent for the disposal of urban waste water. Obviously they have placed greater importance on spending our rates on an event centre, performing arts theatre and Smartlinx 3, and overall nearly 37 per cent of rates revenue on culture and recreation.
It is pretty easy to see where council priorities lie. ALLAN BLOOMFIELD,
Pauatahanui PCC Environment and Regulatory Services general manager David Rolfe responds: Mr Bloomfield has been part of the consultation with council on the implementation of the bylaw requiring owners of effluent disposal systems (septic tanks) and has attended public meetings on the matter, so it is disappointing he appears confused about the costs.
The purpose of the bylaw is to require the regular maintenance of effluent disposal systems that will prevent pollution into the harbour catchment area, reduce public health nuisances and improve risks to health of people in the vicinity. The new bylaw has reduced the compliance costs from the previous bylaw.
In acknowledging that there is a potential problem of effluent disposal in rural areas that regular maintenance will minimise, the Ministry for the Environment in effect supported the use of bylaws by councils to control the problem but did not support a National Environmental Standard to do so.
A report clarifying the situation will be considered by council next week.