Canopies ‘rundown and tired’
Business district comes under fire
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The main reasons given were the outdated and tired nature of the area, undesirable people, a gang presence and poor-quality shops.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.