Ac­cu­rate fore­casts

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE -

Wat­son at­tended Ngati Toa School and Mana Col­lege and in 1970 he and his wife Bar­bara moved to a new state house in As­cot Park.

When he be­came fed up with the lack of ser­vices nearby, Bar­bara told him to stop moan­ing and do some­thing about it.

As­cot Park res­i­dents formed an ac­tion group and be­gan ag­i­tat­ing for what they wanted, in­clud­ing a closer bus stop and a phone box.

‘‘We got the bus stop, we got the phone box and then we had to fight re­ally hard for a kinder­garten,’’ he said.

Wat­son said he had an overde­vel­oped sense of so­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity he in­her­ited from his fa­ther, a mil­i­tant trade union­ist.

‘‘Once you get on to the wheel you no­tice more and see more needs do­ing.’’

One of the things Wat­son no­ticed was the lack of seats in Porirua bus shel­ters.

‘‘All other com­muters had seats in their shel­ters, but not Porirua.

‘‘The coun­cil said they’d be wrecked.’’

Wat­son made sure Porirua com­muters got their seats and then moved on to the next job.

He and Bar­bara raised four sons in Porirua and two at­tended the kinder­garten their fa­ther had fought for.

Asked if he would con­sider an­other tilt at the coun­cil, he said he’d had his day, but val­ued coun­cil­lors for the tough job they did.

‘‘They’re peo­ple who want to make a dif­fer­ence.

‘‘Ev­ery­one is quick to crit­i­cise them, but won’t hold up their hands to have a go.’’

Get­ting in­volved is some­thing Wat­son be­lieves in.

‘‘If peo­ple roll their sleeves up things hap­pen. All you need is fire in your belly.’’ A weather sta­tion will be in­stalled in Porirua soon, af­ter talks be­tween the city coun­cil and Met­ser­vice.

Porirua mayor Nick Leggett re­cently had a tour of the Met­ser­vice fa­cil­ity in Welling­ton and said dis­cus­sions were ad­vanc­ing well.

Porirua’s cur­rent weather sta­tion is on Mana Is­land and is pri­mar­ily used for mar­itime fore­cast­ing.

Porirua is New Zealand’s 10th largest city, and Leggett said res­i­dents de­served an ac­cu­rate fore­cast.

He said the ini­tial out­lay to the coun­cil to place a sta­tion ei­ther in, or some­where close to, the city cen­tre was $20,000 and then about $1000 a year in run­ning costs.

‘‘That’s a rea­son­able amount, es­pe­cially when a lot of peo­ple are say­ing we need this,’’ he said. ‘‘We’re push­ing this along.’’

Leggett said it was likely to be an in­ter­nal de­ci­sion made by the coun­cil, but there might be a re­port for coun­cil­lors to de­bate.

He en­vi­sioned a sta­tion sited on a green space near the CBD or on a build­ing. The de­ci­sion will be made by Met­ser­vice.

Jac­qui Bridges, Met­ser­vice gen­eral man­ager of cor­po­rate af­fairs, con­firmed talks were be­ing held about find­ing a site.

Is­sues such as the amount of clear­ance around the weather sta­tion were im­por­tant, she said.

‘‘Fingers crossed it will hap­pen soon. It will be a great note for Nick to leave the Porirua may­oralty on,’’ she said.

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