Canopy ghetto risk

Kapi-Mana News - - OPINION -

Ed­i­tor,

I am a vis­i­tor to this won­der­ful city. New Zealand Post has an­nounced the Porirua post of­fice is to re­lo­cate to Sem­ple Street, a kilo­me­tre or more away from the banks and CBD. Peo­ple will have to travel 2km to and from the trans­porta­tion hub.

I con­grat­u­late NZ Post on tak­ing ur­gent steps to pro­tect the staff and cus­tomers, mo­ti­vated by the government pol­icy set­ting cri­te­ria for max­i­mum earth­quake risks. But will the in­evitable re­sult be a canopy ghetto? Is this not worse than a phys­i­cal earth­quake for the hid­den so­cial dis­lo­ca­tion it will cause in dis­tress and anx­i­ety to thou­sands of peo­ple who visit the post of­fice to pay their monthly util­ity ac­counts for power and tele­phones?

Should not a cor­po­rate cit­i­zen such as NZ Post be of­fer­ing im­proved tech­nol­ogy and ac­cess de­signed to shorten the of­ten long lines of peo­ple?

What were the al­ter­na­tives? Has NZ Post con­sulted with the com­mu­nity? Will it pro­vide maps and sign-post­ings to help peo­ple fa­mil­iarise them­selves with the new lo­ca­tion? Has it con­sid­ered pro­vid­ing a free shut­tle ser­vice for com­muters?

Per­haps with plan­ning NZ Post could form a strate­gic al­liance with Porirua City Coun­cil or Ki­wiRail, and/or large Me­ga­Cen­tre ten­ants in re­turn for the im­me­di­ate gain prop­erty value.

(Let­ter abridged) North­ern United Rugby Foot­ball Club (Norths) was for­tu­nate enough to re­ceive but I would make the fol­low­ing com­ment.

A re­flec­tion of the lo­cal Porirua com­mu­nity, Norths is hugely mul­ti­cul­tural with an en­vi­able mix of Maori, Pa­cific Is­land, Asian and Pakeha play­ers and sup­port­ers work­ing to­gether. It pro­vides op­por­tu­ni­ties for young peo­ple to achieve their sport­ing goals, and does this in an arena which many New Zealan­ders hold dear: the lo­cal rugby club.

In a com­mu­nity which has tra­di­tion­ally strug­gled in many de­mo­graph­ics, Norths pro­vides a bea­con of success and ca­reer­broad­en­ing op­tions for the youth of Porirua. Norths is a club born from two which has had to work against the odds to be­come suc­cess­ful. It holds within its walls gen­er­a­tions of vol­un­teers.

Norths has be­come a fix­ture in the Porirua com­mu­nity, with its success on the field with com­pe­ti­tion win­ning sides, with success for in­di­vid­u­als achiev­ing the high­est in­ter­na­tional hon­ours, and ex­pe­ri­ence for coaches, man­agers and ad­min­is­tra­tors work­ing in off-field ca­pac­i­ties. Just like the Porirua Health­links Trust, we too have had to be in­no­va­tive and iden­tify more sus­tain­able in­come sources rather than put re­liance on the fact that we may re­ceive grants fund­ing. We at Norths would like to ac­knowl­edge the great sup­port the Mana Com­mu­nity Grants Foun­da­tion has pro­vided us.

Any­one who op­er­ates in the grants en­vi­ron­ment will tell you that all trusts/fund­ing agen­cies are strug­gling in the cur­rent eco­nomic en­vi­ron­ment. I feel sorry for the trustees who have to make the hard calls with lim­ited fund­ing and an over abun­dance of ap­pli­ca­tions.

They are damned if they do and damned if they don’t. I think they should be com­mended for the job they do in sup­port­ing all facets of the Porirua com­mu­nity.

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