Go careful with image
The proposed ‘‘ image makeover’’ for Porirua City got a lot of mileage in the media last week – more than the city council had bargained for. The marketing strategy to attract 9600 more residents by 2031 generated a lot of contrasting opinions online, on talkback and in the streets, from staunch locals and haters alike.
Porirua’s reputation in the region, nation, and yes, even in some of our own suburbs, has been negative for a long time, and nothing to date, from ‘‘amazing’’ catchphrases to international awards, has stopped the rot.
I’m all for fresh ideas but I’m not sure about this new approach. It appears to promote the individual villages for prospective home-buyers and eschew the rest. Does it not validate the snobbery of those residents, real estate agents and media who locate Plimmerton or Titahi Bay as being ‘‘north of Wellington’’?
Trying to bridge the gaps between various suburbs, be they physical, socio-economic or cultural, is part of our role as a community newspaper in Porirua. It may not always happen but our hope is to help readers gain a greater awareness and interest in their wider community.
It’s great to feel pride in your own little community – and Porirua City Council’s villages programme has been a massive success – but it’s also meaningful to be part of something bigger. We would hate to see our identity as a city broken down, relegated to the margins or put in the ‘‘toohard’’ basket.
I feel the impact of Porirua’s negative reputation is often overstated. If you live and work in Wellington, the biggest drawback about moving to Porirua is the rush-hour commute – and no number of pretty beaches is going to make the crawl any quicker.
Porirua should attract 10,000 more residents by 2031 but wouldn’t the biggest factor be the abundance of land ripe for residential development while Wellington and the Hutt are running out?
And people will always beat on other people’s cities because it’s a fun thing to do. As for this ‘‘P-town’’ business – it is not part of the marketing strategy and has little potential beyond local usage. Folks in Palmerston North also use the term, and having lived there for three years I’d be more concerned with that connection than pure methamphetamine.
Matthew Dallas, editor