An­swers wanted on Cas­tor Loop land

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE - KRIS DANDO

Kris Faafoi hopes an up­com­ing public meet­ing will spark more de­bate and pres­sure to re­de­velop the empty Hous­ing New Zealand land in Cas­tor Cres.

The Mana MP will join Porirua City coun­cil­lors Izzy Ford and Euon Mur­rell, Rus­sell School prin­ci­pal Sose An­nan­dale and Rev Perema Leasi at Rus­sell School on June 17 from 7pm to talk about the lack of ac­tion in re­de­vel­op­ing the va­cant lot.

In 2012, the Gov­ern­ment sought ex­pres­sions of in­ter­est in the build­ing of up to 15 houses on the nearly one hectare of green space. Pri­vate or so­cial hous­ing providers were given the chance to tender, with doc­u­ments out­lin­ing that it could be seen as a ‘‘stand­alone pro­ject or a wider ap­proach to the area’’.

There was re­source con­sent for 15 homes, but it was thought up to 22 could have been built.

No ten­ders came in, how­ever, and Faafoi said it was frus­trat­ing there had been no ac­tion since.

‘‘Peo­ple have been talk­ing to me about the Cas­tor Loop a lot and it’s still va­cant and there are still ques­tions,’’ he said.

‘‘There are no plans for it and with the de­mand so high in Porirua for so­cial hous­ing, we need to know why. The com­mu­nity will have their say and I want to put that in front of the Gov­ern­ment.’’

Faafoi said in­volv­ing com­mu­nity lead­ers such as Mur­rell and Ford, Leasi, with his church ties, and An­nan­dale with her ed­u­ca­tion links, will give cre­dence to his stance on want­ing to get things mov­ing.

‘‘I want to get a buzz go­ing in the com­mu­nity. We know Porirua is a

‘‘There are no plans for it and with the de­mand so high in Porirua for so­cial hous­ing, we need to know why. ’’

high-need area for emer­gency hous­ing and ac­com­mo­da­tion and this [Cas­tor Loop] is an op­por­tu­nity go­ing to waste.

‘‘The Gov­ern­ment went to the mar­ket be­fore and noth­ing hap­pened. So I want to put some pres­sure on. It’s time to bite the bul­let be­cause they said they would re-de­velop but noth­ing has hap­pened in five years.’’

A sur­vey of 800 res­i­dences near Cas­tor Cres and some door-knock­ing would give a good in­di­ca­tion of public sen­ti­ment, Faafoi said.

The meet­ing at the Rus­sell School Hall is open to the public.

PHOTO: RHIANNON MCCONNELL

Kris Faafoi next to the Cas­tor Cres empty lot.

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