Potters happy to be back in the Woolshed
The Gear Homestead Woolshed Potters will have a bounce in their step at their annual sale, with the uncertainty and shock of events a year ago put to rest.
The Gear Woolshed was closed by owners Porirua City Council on December 31, 2012, after the former stables were deemed to be vulnerable to earthquake and fire. The walls were sagging and the roof, floors and foundations needed upgrading.
After repairs during the winter, costing $ 160,000 – far less than initial estimate – the Potters were back at the end of September. Porirua City Council agreed at its Te Komiti meeting last week to a threeyear lease for the group.
Potters president Jo Pohatu said the group was excited to be back in its premises, firing up the kilns again.
‘‘We had been in limbo for a long time and we knew the lease was going to be more [$535 in year 1 up to $1070 in year 3], but we were prepared for that.
‘‘It was a huge shock for everyone to be out of the Woolshed that quickly last year, but we’re over the moon now.
‘‘Credit to the city council, too. They have been great to work with.’’
During the discussion at Te Komiti, Porirua mayor Nick Leggett raised the issue of long- term occupiers of council-owned assets.
‘‘When you think of the Woolshed and Titahi Bay theatre, you’re building up expectations. When there are significant costs to upgrade and maintain, we can get ourselves into a tangle.
‘‘A more strategic look at these assets and who pays for them is required, because there will be more [demands] on ratepayers.
‘‘We do costs and services reviews, but then we lack the courage in other areas.’’
He said he had groups approaching him all the time to use council assets, and had to turn down many.
Councillors agreed a report into the issue of the leasing of council assets was needed.
Chief executive Gary Simpson said a requirement could be that clubs and groups needed to ‘‘ make their case’’ every time a lease was up for renewal.
Along with the Potters, other groups that use the Woolshed are Kapiti Camera Club, Gear Woolshed Fibrecrafts and Attic Artists.
The Woolshed Potters’ annual sale continues at Gear Homestead this weekend.
Health hui: Health Minister Tony Ryall launched a new action plan for Porirua’s health problems at Pataka last week.