Ded­i­cated to the com­mu­nity

Not all five of Porirua’s first-term city coun­cil­lors are ex­pected to seek re-elec­tion in Oc­to­ber. Re­flect­ing on their time on coun­cil, they spoke with KRIS DANDO.

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS -

Anita Baker from the north­ern ward has rel­ished her first stint around the coun­cil ta­ble.

The only coun­cil­lor who lives in Whitby, she has been an ad­vo­cate for the sub­urb’s is­sues, along with sewage retic­u­la­tion in Pau­ata­hanui.

‘‘I’ve re­alised early on that there’s only so much money to go around, so you can’t win ev­ery­thing.

‘‘It can be frus­trat­ing but you can’t keep ev­ery­one happy all the time.’’

Ms Baker has at­tended as many pub­lic events as pos­si­ble, along with her coun­cil meet­ings, an at­ti­tude she will main­tain if she re­tains her seat.

She is not tak­ing a bright first term for granted, with all three Porirua wards hav­ing one fewer coun­cil­lor for the elec­tions in Oc­to­ber.

As for ‘‘su­per-city’’ con­sid­er­a­tions, she has not thought too far ahead, but what­ever hap­pens, she says she ded­i­cated to be­ing ‘‘com­mu­nity-based’’.

Wayne Poutoa is sit­ting on the fence. A strong voice in east­ern Porirua and for youth, he is con­cerned for the fu­ture of Porirua’s coun­cil un­der a su­per- city ar­range­ment.

‘‘I will al­ways be in­volved in my com­mu­nity; that won’t change. But I have no in­ter­est in [su­per-city de­lib­er­a­tions] what­so­ever. So, do I want to be a coun­cil­lor if so much will change next year or the year af­ter? That’s a very good ques­tion and some­thing I have to think about with my fam­ily.’’

Mr Poutoa says his first term on PCC has been a ‘‘trea­sured’’ learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence; see­ing how a coun­cil works from the in­side with risk, fi­nances and op­er­a­tions to con­sider.

Bron­wyn Kropp, PCC’s youngest coun­cil­lor, is keen for a tilt at re­tain­ing her north­ern ward seat.

She has en­joyed the jug­gle of stud­ies and coun­cil du­ties, and feels it would be ‘‘a waste of all that learn­ing’’ if she didn’t stand again. Ms Kropp has high ex­pec­ta­tions of her­self.

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‘‘It’s been both ter­ri­fy­ing and ex­cit­ing to be in­volved but I feel I am giv­ing a voice for young peo­ple on coun­cil. I also want to push our fo­cus on in­fra­struc­ture and good util­i­ties – we can’t lose sight of that, as well as the en­vi­ron­ment.’’

Faafoi Seiuli will put his name for­ward again af­ter an ‘‘eye-open­ing’’ first term.

‘‘I’m still learn­ing, the coun­cil jar­gon doesn’t come eas­ily to me.

‘‘I’m get­ting more con­fi­dent with speak­ing and un­der­stand­ing the pro­cesses from amaz­ing peo­ple like Nick [Leggett], Litea [Ah Hoi] and Ken [Dou­glas].

‘‘At the end of the day, though, it’s not about me – I’m stand­ing for other peo­ple’s val­ues,’’ he said.

Mr Seiuli is push­ing for an As­cot Park res­i­dents’ as­so­ci­a­tion and he wants to be a voice for young and old in Porirua.

He is mod­est about his chances, even though some of his east­ern ward col­leagues may not be stand­ing. Whether it be him or oth­ers, he just wants to see his ward rep­re­sented by the best peo­ple.

’Ana Cof­fey is com­mit­ted to hold­ing on to a seat in the west­ern ward. She says she is ‘‘not sold ei­ther way’’ on a su­per city but wants to be in­volved in any dis­cus­sions.

She has en­joyed be­ing an ad­vo­cate for fam­i­lies around the coun­cil ta­ble, help­ing to in­crease en­gage­ment through so­cial me­dia, and is look­ing for­ward to the city cen­tre up­grade tak­ing shape next tri­en­nium.

‘‘I’ve met some very cool peo­ple and got to know how Porirua works, the dif­fer­ent views and val­ues is some­thing I love hear­ing.’’

Photo: FAIRFAX NZ

Dig­i­tal age: In her first term as a city coun­cil­lor ’Ana Cof­fey has been a strong ad­vo­cate for coun­cil us­ing tech­nol­ogy to both cut down on waste and en­gage bet­ter with the com­mu­nity.

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