Salut­ing those who did their com­mu­ni­ties proud

Kapi-Mana News - - CONVERSATIONS -

There was a lot of pride around Porirua and Tawa this year. In such com­mu­ni­ties, peo­ple make the dif­fer­ence, whether in the realm of so­cial work, teach­ing, pol­i­tics, the arts, sport or else­where. They in­spire us to want bet­ter for the places we live.

In 2015, a dom­i­nant shadow was cast by the Porirua 50th cel­e­bra­tions. With it came the bril­liant ex­er­cise of hand­ing out spe­cially made medals to 50 in­di­vid­u­als and cou­ples, mostly un­sung, who helped their com­mu­nity.

Folk like Ken Taase, Kerry De­laney and John Cody de­served to be put on a pedestal, even for just for one glit­ter­ing night.

On the po­lit­i­cal front, the pop­u­lar pair of Porirua mayor Nick Leggett and ManaMP Kris Faafoi were ever-present. Faafoi may not be making a mas­sive bang on the na­tional stage, but his work at lo­cal level is out­stand­ing.

He ad­vo­cates strongly on so­cial is­sues, par­tic­u­larly poverty and hous­ing, and his ac­ces­si­bil­ity must be ap­plauded.

Leggett, too, is avail­able and in touch with what res­i­dents in his city care about.

Though the su­per-city de­ci­sion did not go in his favour, Leggett did not stay down long. There is talk he may run for the Welling­ton may­oralty in 2016.

Around the Porirua City Coun­cil ta­ble, stand­outs were Euon Mur­rell, Ken Dou­glas, Izzy Ford and Bron­wyn Kropp. At least two of them will not be run­ning for re-elec­tion next year and their loss will be keenly felt.

In sport, Daniel Hil­lier, Craig Cald­well, Ngarama Mil­ner-Olsen, Steve Kent and Liam McDow­ell graced our pages of­ten and did Porirua proud.

Art has a mas­sive pres­ence in the Porirua basin and Pataka Art + Mu­seum is where this is shown off. Its will­ing­ness to high­light lo­cal tal­ent is a credit to mu­seum boss Reuben Friend and his pre­de­ces­sor He­len Ked­g­ley.

Al­lan Dod­son and his work re­search­ing the Porirua peo­ple who served in World War I, which cul­mi­nated in an An­zac ex­hi­bi­tion at Pataka, was an im­pres­sive piece of labour.

On the hon­ours lists this year, Craig Utting and Liz Sneyd were recog­nised for their tire­less com­mit­ment to Vir­tu­oso Strings, while Teaku Petaia, Tom Etu­ata and Daniel Muthu­mala were given gongs for ser­vice to their re­spec­tive Pa­cific and Sri Lankan com­mu­ni­ties.

Plim­mer­ton’s Paul Swal­low was also made a Mem­ber of the New Zealand Or­der of Merit, for his work in busi­ness and the Christchurch com­mu­nity fol­low­ing the 2011 earth­quake.

On a som­bre note, Porirua was sad­dened to lose Jerry Collins, Ivan Hard­grave and Mat Whit­ford. Well-known in the city, they were cel­e­brated for their lives and their devo­tion to the city they adored so much.

We look for­ward to toast­ing the work of our peo­ple in 2016.

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