An­other noisy storm in a teacup, says mayor


‘P-town’ will have no place in mar­ket­ing strate­gies for Porirua City, as­sures mayor Nick Leggett, who claims his ac­cep­tance for the nick­name was over­stated in the me­dia last week.

A front- page ar­ti­cle in last Thurs­day’s Do­min­ion Post de­tailed a new pro­mo­tional game plan to draw new res­i­dents to Porirua. But it was the sug­gested ap­peal from Mr Leggett to ‘‘call us P-town’’ that sparked a fury of de­bate on­line, on talk­back ra­dio and in the homes of res­i­dents.

Many crit­i­cised the un­savoury as­so­ci­a­tion of the term to the drug ‘P’ – pure metham­phetamine – and it would do lit­tle to im­prove Porirua’s rep­u­ta­tion.

The mayor says he was asked by the me­dia what he thought of the nick­name and his an­swer had no rel­e­vance to the new mar­ket­ing strat­egy.

‘‘Mov­ing around the city, I hear ‘P-town’ used from time to time, by me too some­times, of­ten by res­i­dents and al­most al­ways by young peo­ple. The fact that the term’s use in such ca­sual set­tings does not of­fend me is by no means a may­oral en­dorse­ment.

‘‘In any event, the phrase came into use with­out the coun­cil’s say-so and I doubt we can will it into ex­tinc­tion.’’

He says he was an­gered when it was sug­gested by some in the me­dia that he wanted Porirua to be known as P-town and was ac­tively pro­mot­ing it through the new strat­egy.

‘‘I would never for­mally use this ex­pres­sion or pro­mote its use. We have a name – Porirua – mean­ing the meet­ing of two tides and rep­re­sented in our beau­ti­ful har­bour. There are few peo­ple prouder than me about our name and what it sig­ni­fies.’’

Mr Leggett says a lot of peo­ple use P-town af­fec­tion­ately in the way oth­ers use Welly, Palmy or Ro­tove­gas. He un­der­stands many res­i­dents don’t like the term due to other con­no­ta­tions and that was fair enough too.

‘‘This is­sue has been a very noisy storm in a teacup. It’s given some peo­ple a chance to crit­i­cise the city ... We’re much bet­ter than that, though. We know that Porirua, in all its di­ver­sity and dy­namism, is a great place to call home. ’’

Ed­i­to­rial p10

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