Stats show diversity
Porirua’s lack of a middle ground when it comes to wealthy and poor was exposed in recent figures.
Statistics compiled by the Ministry of Social Development’s Family and Community Services (FACS) group, using census and other government ministries’ numbers, show more than 50 per cent of residents live in the lowest four deciles that MSD uses to calculate deprivation, with 30 per cent in the lowest.
20 per cent of Porirua residents live in the highest decile areas, contributing to the city having one of the highest median income rates in New Zealand ($26,300).
The zones that were identified as having the highest deprivation score of 10 were Waitangirua, Cannons Creek, Elsdon-takapuwahia, Porirua East and Porirua Central. Seven areas of Porirua had average deprivation scores of one – Endeavour, Discovery, Papakowhai, Mana-camborne, Pauatahanui, Paekakariki Hill and Resolution, putting them among the 10 per cent least deprived areas in the country.
Mana MP Kris Faafoi is aware of the fact his electorate has ‘‘both ends of the spectrum.
‘‘There is still a high dependency on benefits for Maori and Pacific people and we have to take a hard look at getting these people into work. There are different needs in this community, which creates extra challenges – people who are well off have different ones to those not so well off. If we want Porirua to flourish we need to create jobs and training opportunities, the [city] council are doing their best to attract business here.’’
Mr Faafoi says the city centre revitalisation is part of that stimulation and he hopes more government departments will eventually be based in Porirua.
Seventy-nine per cent of the city’s population worked fulltime, compared with 77 per cent nationally. Of those, 11 per cent were in retail, 10 per cent in healthcare and social assistance, and 10 per cent in public administration and safety. Forty-five per cent of residents work in Wellington and 42 per cent work locally.
Ten per cent of people catch the train every day to their job, compared with just 1 per cent across New Zealand.
Mr Faafoi would love to have 20 per cent of Wellington commuters working in Mana, but, realistically, says it is important to ensure public transport is meeting needs.
‘‘What do they think of the transport experience?
‘‘I catch the train into Wellington when I can, because the traffic is awful. Public transport is essential and there has to be good planning for that, especially as petrol costs continue to go up.’’
Porirua Mayor Nick Leggett loves having information such as this available to call on. He says it enables himself, city councillors and council officers to have a ‘‘ true picture’’ of Porirua.
‘‘ Any statistical breakdown can only help inform policy, it can show how people are living their lives and things that we should be acting on.’’