Answers wanted on Castor Loop land
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.
Kris Faafoi next to the Castor Cres empty lot.