News in 2013
In August, a review of how funds were allocated was carried out after allegations of unfairness.
Also in March, there was news that a business hub was planned for Porirua city centre, that the contentious liquor store opposite Russell School would close – it would re-open but later closed its doors for good – and Porirua City Council announced it preferred the two-tier super-city model.
The crime statistics came out in April and they showed KapitiMana had the lowest crime per capita in the region.
Horouta ki Poneke Marae, under the stewardship of Pania Houkamau-Ngaheu, featured on April 30 — it went through a complete regeneration and was re-opened in December.
Rugby league historian and Porirua identity Bernie Wood died in early May.
That month, synthetic cannabis became a concern for police.
We had good news in May, winning the community newspaper of the year prize at the Canon Media Awards. It was a fitting send- off for longserving editor Matt Dallas, who left for the deputy editor’s chair at the Manawatu Standard.
In month we learnt the Porirua Little Theatre would be saved from the bulldozers – if its members could come up with a plan and significant funding by March 2014.
Mitre 10 Mega, which has now opened, began construction in early May, and loan shark legislation, long an issue in Porirua, also came under the spotlight.
In June, it was reported that the Aquatic Centre was leaking up to 14,000 litres of water a day, and Naginbhai Patel said he was interested in opening a restaurant in Cannons Creek. He failed to get a liquor licence. The protest against his venture was strong within the Cannons Creek community.
Also in June one of our biggest stories of the year emerged – the flooding issues at Maraeroa School. It turned out a consented stormwater connection was to blame.
Heavy rain led to slips in Whitby in July and several homes had retaining walls, gardens and pipes ruined.
Canada geese became a hot topic, with former Porirua mayor Jenny Brash calling for a cull.
Earthquakes, rising landfill fees and the much- discussed Kapi- Mana News councillor report cards – Ms Kelly did not fare too well – were also highlights in July.
Eastern ward councillor Wayne Poutoa announced he wasn’t standing again, but there were plenty of takers keen to fill his spot – 14 people eventually stood for four seats in the ward.
Polyfest was massive, again, in August.
Meanwhile, Aotea Lagoon Wake Park developer Paul Marlow bemoaned the fact he was at an impasse with Paremata Residents Association over the cableway.
In October, Mr Leggett was returned emphatically as mayor by the voters, ’ Ana Coffey became his deputy, and Izzy Ford and former mayor John Burke earned council seats.
Iconic Porirua store Bright’s Mitre 10 closed in November.
We also revealed that Streets Ahead 237 had been defrauded.
On a happier note, Te Rauparaha Arena celebrated its fifth birthday. We ended the year as we began — with hardhitting stories about Titahi Bay Residents Association’s perceived lack of transparency, a fight under the Canopies and the Salvation Army’s refusal to accept donations from pokie machine takings.
Storm damage: Anne and John Watts’ back garden slumped a metre after a storm, destroying a retaining wall behind their half-built house.