Porirua putting best foot for­ward

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By MATTHEW DAL­LAS

The May­oral Show­case of Porirua has been deemed such a suc­cess that plans are al­ready afoot for a fol­low-up event in 2012.

Hosted by Porirua City Coun­cil and the Porirua Cham­ber of Com­merce, the expo on Septem­ber 10 saw more than 100 lo­cal busi­nesses and com­mu­nity groups come to­gether in Te Rau­paraha Arena and pro­mote them­selves to the wider city.

Mayor Nick Leggett said the event was a big suc­cess and achieved a pos­i­tive pro­file across the re­gion.

‘‘I think that its pretty well ac­knowl­edged that its tough times eco­nom­i­cally, to bring Porirua to­gether in one room, busi­ness and com­mu­nity groups, is pos­i­tive. We’re not sit­ting back be­ing de­pressed.’’

He said both the may­ors for Lower Hutt and Kapiti at­tended and were im­pressed with the com­mu­nity in­ter­est it had sparked.

‘‘It will be back next year and we have a re­ally solid base to build from.’’

Porirua Cham­ber of Com­merce ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Holly Thomp­son said the feed­back she had re­ceived from busi­nesses in­volved had been over­whelm­ingly sup­port­ive, ‘‘ a lot say­ing ‘sign us up for next year’’’.

‘‘I was over the moon with the com­mit­ment from busi­nesses, cre­at­ing their stalls, en­gag­ing with the pub­lic. The at­mos­phere was amaz­ing – very in­ter­ac­tive.’’

Un­like many busi­ness show­cases, which seek to pro­mote a city or in­dus­try to a wider mar­ket, the fo­cus of the May­oral Show­case was more in­ward – en­sur­ing Porirua res­i­dents know what ser­vices are avail­able in their own back­yard.

‘‘There was a bit of that ‘Don’t leave home un­til you’ve seen the coun­try’ logic. There was a strong feel­ing about sup­port­ing lo­cal busi­nesses. Porirua is ge­o­graph­i­cally scat­tered, we wanted to bring it all to­gether.’’

Ms Thomp­son said a big rea­son for hold­ing the event on a Satur­day was to at­tract those res­i­dents who work in Welling­ton City and may not know what their home­town has to of­fer.

‘‘There’s no rea­son why peo­ple who work in Welling­ton can’t have their ser­vices de­liv­ered here. When they’re driv­ing past Porirua each day it’s harder for them to know what’s avail­able.’’

She said there were ad­van­tages to Welling­ton work­ers us­ing lo­cal ser­vices, whether it be ac­coun­tants, print­ers or con­sul­tants.

‘‘You could make it where your first or last meet­ing of the day is here . . . You would be a short dis­tance from home, with beau­ti­ful views, that small town feel and free park­ing.’’

Ms Thomp­son said due to the way the venue worked, with both the aquatic cen­tre open and a mi­grat­ing kitchen cook­ing dis­play in the hall, it was hard to gauge the num­ber of vis­i­tors, but the stall­hold­ers were happy with the turnout.

Nailed it: Pare­mata School pupil Ca­tri­ona Mackay-Free­man took ad­van­tage of many ac­tiv­i­ties on of­fer at the show­case, get­ting her nails done and face painted as a Ge­or­gian flag by Whi­tireia’s beauty stu­dents, and dec­o­rat­ing Wind­mill Bak­ery bis­cuits with her triplet sis­ters Siob­han and Thom­ina.

Busi­ness bo­nanza: Ruby Ran­gi­taawa and Mar­shaila Ran­gi­taawa helped cel­e­brate lo­cal busi­ness at the May­oral Show­case of Porirua.

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