Tawa’s in­de­pen­dent spirit the key

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By SAM DUFF

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.

Photo: NEIL PRICE

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.

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