Coun­cil pay­ing for gen­er­a­tional ap­a­thy

Kapi-Mana News - - OUT & ABOUT -

If you search for ‘‘his­tory of Porirua city cen­tre’’ on the city coun­cil’s web­site, one of the pho­tos you will see is Tom Ryan’s store with what ap­pears to be a lake in front of it.

The pho­to­graph isn’t dated, but it’s likely to be from the early 1900s.

It’s not ac­tu­ally a wa­ter fea­ture as the cap­tion makes clear: ‘‘Ryan’s store dur­ing one of the fre­quent flood­ings by Kenepuru Stream.’’

No­tice the word ‘‘fre­quent’’ - it’s an ad­jec­tive, 100 years later, that is still spot on when it comes to flood­ing in the city.

And it seems to be get­ting worse, es­pe­cially in the last decade.

Talk to folk who have lived in Porirua all their lives and they’ll re­count sin­gle flood­ing episodes from the past.

But in the last 10 years, we seem to get two mas­sive down­pours a year that brings the city to a shud­der­ing halt.

Porirua ex­pe­ri­ences lo­calised flood­ing - Can­nons Creek one time, Ti­tahi Bay the next, or the city cen­tre, as the Kapi-Mana News of­fice ex­pe­ri­enced in 2015.

Last month it was Whitby and Plim­mer­ton. Flood­ing caused slips, the dip in Dis­cov­ery Dr be­came an im­pass­able pond, and SH58 in gen­eral be­came a mine­field of mud and wa­ter.

Porirua City Coun­cil’s politi­cians and of­fi­cials dread the sound of thun­der peal­ing and rain fall­ing over the basin.

The abil­ity of coun­cil staff, and con­trac­tors like Downer, to act ap­pro­pri­ately is ad­mirable. Yes, the Whitby flood­ing was dis­as­trous for com­muters and the sub­urb suf­fered, but these men and women acted swiftly to rem­edy the nu­mer­ous in­fra­struc­ture woes.

The coun­cil agreed last week to di­vert $600,000 from its bud­get into ur­gent re­pair work in the af­ter­math of the flood­ing, which was the right de­ci­sion.

Well over $1 mil­lion is also tagged for stormwa­ter and waste­water work around the city, so things are be­ing done.

But the coun­cil is pay­ing for gen­er­a­tional ap­a­thy to­wards its in­fra­struc­ture.

Nick Leggett flagged up­grad­ing Porirua’s pipes as cru­cial when he pitched for the may­oral chains in 2010.

Six years and mul­ti­ple flood­ing events later, this city is at a point where even more rates dol­lars will need to be poured down its drains and pipes.

En­gi­neer­ing re­ports are be­ing done as we speak and de­tailed plans are afoot to tackle the city’s flood­ing epi­demic.

It’s a re­lief to see this hap­pen­ing.

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