Writers’ Walk plans stalled
A proposed Writers’ Walk, lauding celebrated Porirua authors such as Noel Hilliard, Patricia Grace and Te Rauparaha has taken a back seat.
The project was initially presented to Porirua City Council by the Porirua Community Arts Council in February 2012.
Funding was confirmed that year, and the project was included in the city’s long-term plan as part of the City Centre Revitalisation project.
However, the revitalisation project has stalled owing to the council considering new consultants for the job. That has left the main drivers behind the walk wondering what will happen.
Phil O’Connell, a member of the Art’s Council writers’ walk subcommittee, said he was concerned the project had come to a halt.
Although it hadn’t been hard to get strong support for the project, it had been difficult to gain funding, he said.
The proposed walk, with stations comprised of benches or stones to put plaques on, is to be a commemoration of writers with links to Porirua, similar to one on the Wellington waterfront.
Concepts were designed by Whitireia design students in 2010, and incorporated Pacific and Maori designs.
The walk was envisaged to start along Wineera Dr, and the plan is to extend it along the foreshore, and possibly have stations in Paremata, Pauatahanui and Titahi Bay.
O’Connell said it was appropriate, given the area, that Te Rauparaha was one of the first stations, though people didn’t typically think of him as a writer.
‘‘His work [ Ka Mate haka] is probably the most widely performed of any New Zealand author,’’ he said.
Beyond the first three proposed stations, the committee was looking to pay tribute to writers and poets such as Sam Hunt, Gary McCormick, Michael King, Elizabeth Knox and Rosemary Wildblood.
The committee has held several events to promote the project, and last year held a writing competition for local primary schools to create literary awareness and encourage children’s writing.
‘‘It’s one thing to get adults involved, but if we don’t get kids involved, we’re not preparing for their future,’’ O’Connell said.
He said the next step would be to reorganise the committee, so it was more closely focused and tied in with the new arts committee.
Once the new committee was up and running, it would lobby the council to make sure funding was available.
Top of the list: Patricia Grace and Te Rauparaha would be early candidates for a Porirua Writers’ Walk.