Coun­cil’s mar­ket blun­der ex­posed

Kapi-Mana News - - OPINION -

The halt­ing of the ten­der process for a mar­ket in Porirua’s CBD brings the cur­tain down on a process that has been noth­ing short of a sham­bles and a PR night­mare for the city coun­cil.

Ti­tahi Bay Li­ons was run­ning a per­fectly ad­e­quate mar­ket, with pro­ceeds sunk back into the com­mu­nity.

Porirua City Coun­cil de­cided the mar­ket did not meet the cri­te­ria to be part of the planned city cen­tre up­grade, and the Li­ons re­luc­tantly moved their mar­ket to Wai­tan­girua.

It’s great news that the trans­planted ven­ture is go­ing well, with lots of com­mu­nity at­ten­dance.

It’s still the so­cial oc­ca­sion it was on Satur­day morn­ings in Cob­ham Court.

Mean­while, the coun­cil put the CBD space out to ten­der – and got just one re­sponse.

The de­ci­sion last week to put the process on hold was an em­bar­rass­ing back­down.

The of­fi­cial line from the mayor Nick Leggett’s of­fice is that there is al­ready a mar­ket in Porirua that should be sup­ported. Leggett said there could be a re­vis­it­ing of a city cen­tre mar­ket, ‘‘ depend­ing on how the up­grade goes’’.

Paint it up any way you like – the coun­cil has egg on its face.

No- one was in­ter­ested in ten­der­ing for a space that had so much un­cer­tainty around it – the mid­dle sec­tion of car parks is to go, cut­ting down the avail­able space – and, ac­cord­ing to the Li­ons, the con­di­tions to op­er­ate in Cob­ham Court had be­come pro­hib­i­tive.

The coun­cil has lost ku­dos in the com­mu­nity for its treat­ment of the Li­ons, who have been run­ning a mar­ket in the CBD since 1986.

Cel­e­bra­tions for Porirua’s 50th birth­day should be big in Oc­to­ber. But there’s no guar­an­tee.

Sure, the 50th got some recog­ni­tion dur­ing Fes­ti­val of the El­e­ments and Creek­fest, and a smart- look­ing logo and Face­book page have been fash­ioned. An ex­hi­bi­tion at Pataka, We Built This City, opens this week, and will be ex­cel­lent. A world record haka and big civic din­ner will take place.

But more could have been done to pro­mote the city’s 50th.

Last week we spoke to the last re­main­ing mem­ber of the #Porirua50 Com­mit­tee, Sandy Brewer, who ex­pressed her dis­en­chant­ment at the way the com­mit­tee me­an­dered on. Mem­bers came and went and the com­mit­tee be­came tooth­less.

The com­mit­tee was en­vi­sioned by Porirua City Coun­cil as a voice of the peo­ple – dis­cussing, ad­vo­cat­ing, li­ais­ing, pro­mot­ing and co­or­di­nat­ing ju­bilee plans.

Sadly, it has fiz­zled. Brewer said she’s in the dark about its fu­ture, but the coun­cil is adamant it has run its course.

Com­mu­ni­ca­tion has been sadly lack­ing, be­cause Brewer is sure a func­tion­ing com­mit­tee would have more to give.

Brewer’s group could not rely on mem­bers to stick it out, which is dis­ap­point­ing. But with no bud­get and no sup­port from the coun­cil, what chance did it have?

An­other com­mu­nity group, mean­while, has been give the job of fa­cil­i­tat­ing ideas for the week lead­ing up the big 50th civic din­ner – a mas­sive bar­be­cue and street clean- up has been mooted.

Though this group does not have coun­cil back­ing, strictly speak­ing, it seems to be run­ning par­al­lel to the 50th com­mit­tee and could well re­place it.

Here’s hop­ing it gets the sup­port when it counts.

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