Drainage problems may have to wait
An impassioned plea from Ngati Toa to fix the draining issues that continue to plague Takapuwahia was met with an assurance last week, but it may not come soon enough this winter.
Ngati Toa kaumatua were in the public gallery as Porirua City councillors ran the microscope over changes to their draft annual plan, their budget for the next financial year, on June 1.
It will be formally adopted and the rate struck on June 29 – set to be 5.2 per cent, 0.5 per cent less than first forecast.
In public speaking time, Jennie Smeaton, on behalf of Ngati Toa runanga, said they were hopeful their submission – outlining the frequency of flooding in the suburb – would be listened to.
The work to fix stormwater pipes in Takapuwahia in 2009 has not resolved the problem and Ms Smeaton said it was ‘‘quite concerning’’ any future upgrades would be part of PCC’s 2012-22 long term planning.
‘‘ We had another serious flood recently around the marae, runanga and homes, and we are not satisfied that any further work could be up to 10 years away. It is affecting our homes and our health.’’
In response, PCC’s general manager of asset management and operations Peter Bailey said his staff had done ‘‘extensive modelling’’ across the city on stormwater issues.
The problem faced in Takapuwahia, however, was to do with ‘‘ overland’’ flooding during heavy rain, rather than water coming up from overflowing drains.
‘‘We will reduce the risk in the coming year, but we need to discuss this with property owners as there are access issues.’’
The council’s chief executive Gary Simpson said there would be a councillor workshop in the next fortnight, where Takapuwahia and the Pauatahanui sewage feasibility study would be discussed.
The latter, worth $100,000, was one of four items added to the annual plan expenditure list last week, as well as insurance ($270,000), property purchases (net $67,000) and an increase in borrowing requirements ($169,000).
This totalled $606,000 but was offset by expenditure decreases in areas such as Cannons Creek Pool ($26,000, neutralised by a $50,000 revenue increase), rubbish collection ($50,000), strategic risk management ($100,000) and deferral of capital replacement (computers and other equipment $200,000).
Porirua Mayor Nick Leggett said the insurance rise was an ‘‘unknown’’ and represented two-thirds of 1 per cent of rates. Despite this, he said PCC had produced a sound budget for 2011/12, but the pressure would not go away.
The draft annual plan received 157 submissions, 80 more than last year.
The main subjects addressed were village planning, reticulation in Pauatahanui, flooding in Takapuwahia, graffiti management, roading, car parking, city centre revitalisation and libraries.
Nearly 60 per cent of submitters were Porirua East residents.