‘Wherever I am, I know Porirua is my home’
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.’’
Porirua mayoral candidate Liz Kelly.