Porirua 50 group now just one
A committee established to plan events for Porirua’s 50th birthday has been unable to hang onto its members – but the Porirua City Council says the committee has completed the task it was formed to do.
The eight- member # Porirua50 Committee was set up late last year and represented different sectors of the community. Only Aotea resident Sandy Brewer, the president of Porirua Little Theatre, remains and she is not sure what the future holds.
She said the committee used to meet regularly, and a Facebook page and distinctive logo were among its early successes. The 50th dinner and world-record haka were among ideas that would probably materialise, she said.
But Brewer was disappointed by the level of support from the council.
‘‘I’m not sure what’s going on with it. There’s been no word,’’ she said. ‘‘We would try to make decisions, but would run into roadblocks. I feel we were not getting the necessary support to make the 50th a success. It got very tricky. I feel like I’m the last man standing.’’
Committee members disappeared, Brewer said, when the realities of life took over and it became clear the group would have no budget or real teeth. ‘‘ A few people got very disheartened with it all, especially when we were far down the track with some things.
‘‘ We had the big dinner idea planned, but when it came to quotes, we could not get sign-off. That’s why it has become a civic event instead of a community-based one.’’
Brewer said community buy-in to make the 50th part of the city’s fabric had happened, but only in fits and starts. She maintains the Facebook page and said she hoped other events planned would be fitting tributes to the city’s birthday.
Brewer said the formation of a community group headed by Colin Bleasdale, which aims to have a barbecue at Te Rauparaha Park in October, took her by surprise.
Geoff Mowday, chairman of the Plimmerton Residents Association, was invited to attend one meeting.
He said the committee did not seem ‘‘all-embracing’’ and he didn’t feel the need to attend again.
‘‘ It wasn’t a broad- based community committee, like I had hoped,’’ he said.
‘‘Everything seemed liked it was focused towards the Porirua city centre. I thought the 50th was a chance to celebrate the entire city, but this wasn’t the direction the committee was moving.’’
Euan Dempsey, the council’s general manager of community services, said the committee no longer needed to meet because it had completed the task it was formed to do.
‘‘The committee was successful in bringing many great ideas, some of which have taken place, such the Gallipoli exhibition at Pataka and adding a 50th flavour to the Festival of the Elements and Creekfest,’’ he said.
Dempsey encouraged groups to apply to the council for funding this month if they want to hold 50threlated events.
Editorial, P 10