Looking on the bright side
The Canopies are down and the sun is streaming in, but despite the lighter atmosphere people are still worrying about the rain.
Removal began on Tuesday night and by Friday the controversial covering was no more.
Porirua mayor Nick Leggett said the removal had gone well and there had been a lot of positive feedback.
‘‘It’s quite remarkable how different the place looks without the Canopies covering the street,’’ he said.
‘‘ People seem to love the change.’’
Not all are so excited about the new look.
Billi Kumar, owner of Billi’s Shoetique & Boutique in Porirua’s CBD, said though the sun was nice, as soon as it rained business would be driven away.
‘‘When it rains is the only time we will have a problem. It’s going to affect my business,’’ he said.
‘‘I will survive, but there will be more empty shops.’’
He said his preferred option was for a clear covering to be put up.
It was estimated it would take four weeks to remove the Canopies, which were erected in 1995. However, the cover- ing came down faster than planned.
What, if anything, will replace them is yet to be decided.
‘‘It’s a big decision for the city – if we decide to replace the Canopies that will cost about $ 3 million,’’ Leggett said.
‘‘ Views are mixed among the community, retailers and even on the council about what should go up to protect the city centre from the weather.
‘‘ We need to consider all options, including a mix of Canopies and clear space.
‘‘The most important thing to me is that we make an informed decision with real community input about what solution is best.’’
A report last July said the Canopies were in danger of ripping in high winds and the council decided in August to dismantle them.
The first phase $300,000.
New world: The removal of the Canopies has left a bright open space.