Look­ing on the bright side

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By RHI­AN­NON MCCON­NELL

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.

cost

Photo: RHI­AN­NON MCCON­NELL

New world: The re­moval of the Canopies has left a bright open space.

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