Colo­nial Knob moun­tain­bike track given be­lated coun­cil sup­port

Flu­o­ride sup­port­ers given short shrift

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By KRIS DANDO

Rob McIn­tyre is like a child on Christ­mas Day.

The Mana Cy­cle Group, of which McIn­tyre is pres­i­dent, was one of the big win­ners when Porirua City coun­cil­lors con­sid­ered coun­cil of­fi­cers’ re­sponses to the draft an­nual plan last Wed­nes­day.

The group have bold plans to build moun­tain­bike tracks be­low Colo­nial Knob and were seek­ing coun­cil ap­proval and fund­ing.

Their re­quest for $40,000 was re­buffed when the draft an­nual plan was re­leased last month.

But a com­pelling sub­mis­sion by McIn­tyre and his group dur­ing re­cent hear­ings swayed coun­cil­lors, who have di­verted $40,000 from the Botham­ley Park restora­tion project.

‘‘We’re re­ally pleased. There’s been a lot of in­ter­est and now we can re­ally make things hap­pen,’’ McIn­tyre said.

The $40,000 would en­able the group to get started on the ‘‘easy’’ track from Raiha St through to Spicers and al­low a strate­gic plan to be de­vel­oped, he said.

It is hoped to be­gin that track in Au­gust.

Then the group will look at a track up­hill from Camp Els­don.

Fur­ther fund­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties could now be sourced with con­fi­dence be­cause the group had the coun­cil’s back­ing, McIn­tyre said.

Other rec­om­men­da­tions from of­fi­cers in­cluded:

More in­ves­ti­ga­tion into a splash pad in Porirua, which could cost $450,000 if built at Aotea La­goon or $762,000 at the Aquatic Cen­tre.

Con­sid­er­a­tion of a cross har­bour walk­way/cy­cle­way con­nec­tion.

Con­sid­er­a­tion of the ap­pro­pri­ate fu­ture of the Ca­ble House (above the beach in Ti­tahi Bay).

Ex­plor­ing a re­la­tion­ship with the Shine ed­u­ca­tion ini­tia­tive.

In­ves­ti­gat­ing the need for a fully fenced play­ground at Te Rau­paraha Park.

Li­aise with Ro­tary Club of Porirua on the build­ing of a sound stage at Aotea La­goon.

Dur­ing dis­cus­sion

last Wed­nes­day, Porirua mayor Nick Leggett pro­posed that the amount the coun­cil gave to Welling­ton Free Am­bu­lance be in­creased to $30,000. The cur­rent an­nual al­lo­ca­tion is $7000.

This was passed unan­i­mously, al­though coun­cil­lor Ken Dou­glas said it raised a wider is­sue.

‘‘ Con­tri­bu­tions to Welling­ton Free Am­bu­lance could fall from cen­tral govern­ment on to ratepay­ers and I have se­ri­ous ques­tions about this,’’ he said.

The only is­sue of con­tention that re­quired a vote was the de­ci­sion to con­trib­ute to the Re­gional Ameni­ties Fund.

Leggett pro­posed the fig­ure of $144,000 in the draft an­nual plan Porirua City coun­cil­lors are fully sup­port­ive of their of­fi­cers’ rec­om­men­da­tions about flu­o­ride in the city’s wa­ter. It was noted at the draft an­nual plan dis­cus­sions that the coun­cil sup­ported the Min­istry of Health rec­om­men­da­tions, which al­low for safe lev­els of flu­o­ri­da­tion.

There are no plans to make changes to the coun­cil’s pol­icy.

Anti-flu­o­ride cam­paign­ers – nearly a third of the 52 sub­mit­ters – made lively be re­duced to $50,000, but four coun­cil­lors – Denys Latham, Izzy Ford, Tim Shep­pard and Bron­wyn Kropp – ar­gued there should be no pay­ment to­wards this fund.

Ford said af­ter the meet­ing that res­i­dents of the east­ern part of the city would not get any­thing from the coun­cil’s sup­port for Te Papa or Karori Wildlife Sanc­tu­ary.

‘‘ Surely some of these at­trac­tions can pick from a large pool of fund­ing,’’ she said.

‘‘To me it seems sen­si­ble to put money into some­thing lo­cal.’’

It was also rec­om­mended that sub­mis­sions dur­ing the hear­ings.

The cam­paign­ers were not in favour of a pub­lic ref­er­en­dum on the is­sue.

An email to Porirua City coun­cil­lors from one of the sub­mit­ters, Mary Byrne, said the cam­paign­ers pre­ferred a tri­bunal-style hear­ing on the sub­ject, as had hap­pened in New Ply­mouth and Hamil­ton.

‘‘The coun­cil has no right to cause harm, even if the pub­lic is un­aware of harm,’’ she said. the flood­ing sit­u­a­tion in Hon­goeka be ad­dressed, but more than the planned $50,000 was go­ing to be needed.

Chief ex­ec­u­tive Gary Simp­son said funds would have to be di­verted from the vil­lage plan­ning budget.

The fu­ture of the Marines Hall in Ti­tahi Bay would be dis­cussed at a later date fol­low­ing pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion, Leggett said.

The an­nual plan will for­mally adopted on June 25.


Izzy Ford: What about res­i­dents in the east?

Ken Dou­glas: Who should pay for Free Am­bu­lance?

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