Tawa’s independent spirit the key
The Tawa community must hold on to its identity if a Wellington super-city is created, says Tawa Community Board chairman Robert Tredger.
Mr Tredger, 67, was re-elected in October to his seventh term on the board, which he has chaired since 2010.
He said potential council amalgamation was the biggest challenge because it could threaten Tawa’s independent spirit.
‘‘Tawa is in a very strange position,’’ he said.
‘‘ We’ve been an independent suburb for an awfully long time and there is a lot of parochialism here.
‘‘ We believe Tawa should remain, if possible, a community in its own right.
‘‘If you talked to people here, they would like it to be a borough in its own right again. That is not necessarily practical or possible.’’
Mr Tredger said the annual budget for the community board was minimal, which allowed it to work on only a few small projects.
However, he wanted Tawa to have its own all-weather sports pitch so local children did not have to leave the suburb.
‘‘ If there is bad weather it means a lot of our games get called off or are transferred,’’ he said.
Wellington City Council had delayed a pitch for Tawa, deciding Karori needed one instead, he said.
Mr Tredger said the sense of community in Tawa had grown over the past three years because of the community awards, the hanging baskets and the neighbourhood day.
‘‘Tawa is very lucky to have an involved community, with a lot of heritage.’’
Mr Tredger, who spent time each month volunteering on the Tawa community patrol, said the initiative had done well.
‘‘We have managed to get people out on most Friday and Saturday nights, and during the week now, just making sure people stay safe,’’ he said.
He said the newly created walkway, which runs from Tawa to Porirua, was something the board had achieved in its work with Wellington City Council.
The Tawa Community Board stayed much the same after the last election, with just two new faces, Jack Marshall and Richard Herbert.
Mr Tredger said the board benefited from having as members two Northern ward councillors, Malcolm Sparrow and Justin Lester. ‘‘It is a major plus. ‘‘It is absolutely great to have Malcolm there.’’
Mr Tredger said it was good to have a young person on the board who could bring a different perspective, referring to the 19-yearold Marshall.
‘‘He isn’t inexperienced – he has been on the youth council for a number of years,’’ he said.
Mr Tredger was unsure if he would run again, saying it depended on the outcome of the amalgamation debate.
Tawa Community Board members are, from left, Justin Lester, Jack Marshall, Graeme Hansen, Margaret Lucas, Robert Tredger, chairman, Richard Herbert, Alistair Sutton and Malcolm Sparrow.