Canopies ‘run­down and tired’

Busi­ness dis­trict comes un­der fire

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By KRIS DANDO

Porirua’s cen­tral busi­ness dis­trict has been slammed in a Porirua City Coun­cil-funded sur­vey with a third of peo­ple de­scrib­ing the canopies area as ‘‘run­down’’, ‘‘tired’’ and badly need­ing an up­grade.

The $ 54,000 sur­vey, which can­vassed the views of 401 peo­ple in May and June, is one of sev­eral tools the city coun­cil uses to as­sess its per­for­mance.

Some ser­vices, such as wa­ter sup­ply, parks, gar­dens and lit­ter re­moval, ranked above a 90 per cent sat­is­fac­tion rate.

But some were ranked be­low 60 per cent – pub­lic halls, vil­lage plan­ning pro­gramme knowl­edge and cre­at­ing the right con­di­tions for busi­ness.

The canopies/ cen­tral busi­ness dis­trict was the high­est un­der the ‘‘not very sat­is­fied’’ cat­e­gory, at 33 per cent.

The main rea­sons given were the out­dated and tired na­ture of the area, un­de­sir­able peo­ple, a gang pres­ence and poor-qual­ity shops.

In 2012, 25 per cent of those sur­veyed were not very sat­is­fied with the canopies.

Main­te­nance of foot­paths (20 per cent) and roads (ex­clud­ing state high­ways, 19 per cent) also drew strong dis­sat­is­fied rank­ings.

Porirua Cham­ber of Com­merce ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Holly Thomp­son said a canopies up­grade was mov­ing in the right di­rec­tion with coun­cil cash guar­an­teed and pri­vate in­vest­ment still be­ing sought, al­though peo­ple might find it frus­trat­ingly slow.

‘‘We are in a hold­ing pat­tern and peo­ple need to re­alise that.

‘‘I do agree with the com­mu­nity that it (the area) is tired and run­down but this is as much about the bricks and mor­tar as any­thing else. The death of the main street is a global is­sue right now.

‘‘ In­vest­ment and vi­brancy is com­ing.’’

Peo­ple ranked wa­ter sup­ply, sew­er­age, stormwa­ter, roads and foot­paths as the most im­por­tant ser­vices and fa­cil­i­ties, with fes­ti­vals and pub­lic halls be­low 50 per cent in terms of im­por­tance.

Other statis­tics to fea­ture in­cluded 35 per cent of peo­ple be­ing phys­i­cally ac­tive seven days a week, only 9 per cent be­ing able to name at least five city coun­cil­lors and 69 per cent be­ing happy with the way their rates were spent.

Ar­eas of con­cern for coun­cil­lors are the drop­ping rates of those who feel the city is a safe place, and pre­pared­ness in case of an emer­gency.

At a com­mit­tee meet­ing last week, coun­cil chief ex­ec­u­tive Gary Simpson said the high cost of the sur­vey and a de­sire to use their own method­ol­ogy would likely re­sult in the coun­cil con­duct­ing its own in the com­ing years.

The lack of in­for­ma­tion in the pub­lic arena about vil­lage plan- ning work needed to be ad­dressed, Mr Simpson said.

Edi­to­rial, page 10


Mak­ing progress: Porirua Cham­ber of Com­merce ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Holly Thomp­son says the canopies up­grade is mov­ing in the right di­rec­tion.

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