So many choices in Porirua’s East­ern ward

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE - KRIS DANDO

Four­teen is a pop­u­lar num­ber in Porirua’s east.

That’s the num­ber of can­di­dates that are stand­ing for four seats in the ward for the up­com­ing lo­cal body elec­tions, the ex­act num­ber that stood in 2013.

How­ever, along with in­cum­bents Izzy Ford, Denys Latham and John Burke, only Faafoi Seiuli and Martin Gre­gory are back for another go to rep­re­sent the res­i­dents of Ranui, Can­nons Creek, Wai­tan­girua, As­cot Park and Aotea. The pop­u­lar Litea Ah Hoi is ab­sent for the first time since win­ning a seat in 2001.

Mor­ris Cheer, the only res­i­dent from Aotea, Kylie Wi­hapi, Wil­lie Tau­rima, David Watt, Benna Se­veali’i-Si­olo, Sala Ni­marota, Paula Mac Ewan, Lorna Kana­va­toa and Je­van Goul­ter are the new­com­ers on the bal­lot and they have a job on their hands to get no­ticed in the com­ing weeks. Ex­pect many of them to use so­cial me­dia dur­ing their cam­paigns.

There is lo­cal body ex­pe­ri­ence among them. Goul­ter, who lives in Welling­ton, has stood for the may­oralty in Whanganui be­fore, Faafoi Seiuli was a Porirua City coun­cil­lor from 2010 to 2013 and Wil­lie Tau­rima and Benna Se­veali’i-Si­olo are former long­time coun­cil em­ploy­ees.

One point raised by more than one can­di­date was that the three in­cum­bents do not live in the East­ern ward.

Ford, who polled high­est in 2013, lives in Whitby, Latham is in Pa­pakowhai and Burke re­sides in Mana. All have deep roots in the East­ern ward, how­ever, and will bank on ex­pe­ri­ence and hav­ing a good han­dle on east­ern and city­wide is­sues hold­ing them in good stead.

‘‘I’ve rep­re­sented the East­ern ward for the past nine years and think I’ve done a pretty good job,’’ Latham said. ‘‘I taught and coached rugby there for many years and feel I have a good un­der­stand­ing of the is­sues that peo­ple care about. Ex­pe­ri­ence counts for a lot.’’

Is­sues for the East­ern ward raised in­clude bet­ter con­nec­tiv­ity be­tween the coun­cil and com­mu­nity, flood­ing, vil­lage plan­ning, pub­lic safety, hous­ing and, pre­dictably, rates.

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