‘Wher­ever I am, I know Porirua is my home’

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE - KRIS DANDO

Liz Kelly has her eyes wide open in her bid for the Porirua may­oralty.

She an­nounced her can­di­dacy late on and said the de­ci­sion was made after long dis­cus­sions with fam­ily and get­ting the back­ing from Ngati Toa, who have de­scribed her as ‘‘well-rounded’’ and ‘‘a strong voice’’.

She is also the only woman who put her hand up for the top job.

A coun­cil­lor for nine years from 2004 to 2013, and deputy mayor in her fi­nal term, the Ti­tahi Bay-based Kelly works in Can­nons Creek as the Porirua Whanau Cen­tre chief ex­ec­u­tive.

‘‘This place [the Whanau Cen­tre] is boom­ing,’’ she said.

‘‘It is meet­ing a need and I’m proud to be lead­ing that. When I left the coun­cil, I didn’t stop work­ing in the com­mu­nity.’’

Ed­u­ca­tion, health, so­cial hous- ing, mov­ing the CBD up­grade along, re­vi­tal­is­ing the har­bour and Trans­mis­sion Gully and its im­pact on Porirua are her key is­sues for the com­ing tri­en­nium.

She will be up against David Watt, Gor­don Mar­shall, Mike Tana, Euon Mur­rell and Mike Dun­can in the race for the Porirua may­oralty.

Kelly scoffed when the in­evitable is­sue of Porirua’s high rates came up.

‘‘Look, I think the peo­ple who say they want to lower rates are dream­ing. It isn’t go­ing to hap­pen. But what we can do is use the rates sen­si­bly.

‘‘This is a city on the move, with Sil­ver­wood, Aotea and the Ngati Toa land [in the old Porirua Hos­pi­tal grounds], so there is more money to be com­ing in.’’

Kelly, who had had four rel­a­tives serve on the coun­cil, said her and fel­low con­tender Euon Mur­rell’s ex­pe­ri­ence could not be over­looked.

‘‘We don’t need time to set­tle in and get our head around coun­cil pro­cesses like some might.

‘‘I had nine years in there and I’m ready to go, my eyes are open.

‘‘I’m ex­cited about the chal­lenge ahead. I have un­fin­ished busi­ness and think I bring a num­ber of points of dif­fer­ence to the other can­di­dates.’’

Born and bred in Porirua, Kelly said she is ‘‘in­cred­i­bly blessed’’ to have been raised here, and wants to be at the helm to take the city for­ward.

She does not favour amal­ga­ma­tion with Welling­ton, but said it should be an in­formed com­mu­nity man­date that de­cides this is­sue.

‘‘The city is di­verse and I have al­ways loved it for that. I’ve lived over­seas but wher­ever I am I know Porirua is my home. My six chil­dren and six grand­chil­dren are here and the peo­ple I love are buried here. I don’t want to be any­where else.’’

PHOTO: PENNY EVANS

Porirua may­oral can­di­date Liz Kelly.

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