Fears over fate of homestead cooled

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By KRIS DANDO

Fears over the fu­ture of Mun­gavin Homestead have been al­layed, af­ter a re­cent meet­ing be­tween Ranui res­i­dents and the city coun­cil, but a ten­ant has still not been se­cured.

Ranui Res­i­dents As­so­ci­a­tion (RRA) has ex­pressed anx­i­ety fol­low­ing a Kapi-Mana News ar­ti­cle in April that re­ported Porirua City Coun­cil would con­sider sell­ing the homestead if there was no in­ter­est in the lease. It has lain empty since late last year, when Mun­gavin Blues closed.

A meet­ing of RRA in May saw a letter sent to Porirua Mayor Nick Leggett on the ‘‘ se­ri­ous con­cerns about the fate’’ of the homestead. It urged con­sul­ta­tion with the com­mu­nity over any fu­ture plans for the build­ing and grounds.

The letter also spoke of dis­quiet from John Ryan, whose grand­fa­ther planted the golden macro­carpa near the homestead.

‘‘As you know, we are de­vel­op­ing our vil­lage plan, a ma­jor part of which in­cludes cap­tur­ing the his­tory and the green na­ture of this area. To lose both the his­toric house and tree would up­set many res­i­dents,’’ the letter said.

RRA spokesper­son Lepeti Tea said the coun­cil should not en­ter­tain the thought of sell­ing the homestead.

‘‘There is a lot of her­itage around this prop­erty, so there are con­cerns when you hear that it could po­ten­tially go into pri­vate own­er­ship. I think there is a real con­nec­tion be­tween the pub­lic and Mun­gavin Homestead.’’

The RRA met with Mr Leggett re­cently and he as­suaged many con­cerns. He said PCC do want to re­tain own­er­ship of the prop­erty.

‘‘We do re­view coun­cil’s as­sets reg­u­larly, that’s im­por­tant to do. We are hop­ing it will kept as a restau­rant and still be avail­able to be used by the com­mu­nity. I think any new ten­ant will get a lot of sup­port from lo­cal res­i­dents.’’

Mr Leggett said there had been ‘‘some in­ter­est’’ in the ten­ancy.

Ms Tea would love to see a per­ma­nent dis­play in­side the homestead, show­ing off the area’s his­tory.

‘‘It’s im­por­tant to hon­our and ac­knowl­edge peo­ple who came be­fore us and we need to have that recog­nised. We are go­ing to ask for use of a wall that might house Ranui’s his­tory; it should be up for dis­cus­sion.’’

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