Fears over fate of homestead cooled
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.’’